Android Q leaked earlier this month and confirmed a number of features like the system-wide dark mode and a renewed focus on privacy. We’ve since been able to get our own hands-on with Google’s next major operating system, and can reveal some upcoming functionality.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
We were able to get access to an early version of Android Q through AOSP’s Continuous Integration Dashboard. From there, we booted that build (Jan 5, 2019 security patch) in a desktop emulator for early screenshots. Additionally, we also acquired (thanks tipster!) a newer version of Q’s System UI APK that differs from AOSP. Features and various interfaces will likely change ahead of the official Android Q Developer Preview.
As XDA spotted today, hardware support for more secure facial recognition is coming with Android Q. Instead of just relying on an image as Trusted Face has been doing for several years, devices like the iPhone X leverage a dot projector, flood illuminators, and infrared camera to create a scan of your face.
While companies like Samsung and OnePlus have had to implement their own solutions, Android Q is preparing for the next wave of Android flagships to include support for these sensors natively.
<string name=”biometric_dialog_try_again”>Try again</string>
<string name=”accessibility_biometric_dialog_help_area”>Help message area</string>
Users will interface with a “biometric_dialog” that Android 9 Pie began to build out for fingerprint unlock. The user experience should be rather straightforward with a “face_dialog” guiding users through the identification process.
<string name=”face_dialog_looking_for_face”>Looking for you…</string>
<string name=”kg_face_not_recognized”>Not recognized</string>
<string name=”kg_fingerprint_not_recognized”>Not recognized</string>
Taking screenshots improved in Pie with a new shortcut in the power menu alongside Power off and Restart. Android Q introduces system-level screen recording that will be similar to existing third-party solutions.
On initial launch, users need to grant the necessary permissions to the screen recorder. An “Ongoing notification” will be present throughout the capture with options to Start/Stop and Share once complete. Users will also have the ability to record an accompanying voiceover.
<string name=”screenrecord_cancel_success”>Screen recording canceled</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_channel_description”>Ongoing notification for a screen record session</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_delete_description”>Screen recording deleted</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_delete_error”>Error deleting screen recording</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_mic_label”>Record voiceover</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_name”>Screen Recording</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_permission_error”>Failed to get permissions</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_save_message”>Screen recording saved, tap to view</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_start_label”>Start Recording</string>
<string name=”screenrecord_taps_label”>Show taps</string>
Android 10 Q
Unsurprisingly, Android Q is likely version 10 if the time in System UI Demo Mode is any hint.
An Emergency button also accessible from the power menu will let users quickly access the emergency dialer. This is more immediate than first going back to the lockscreen and swiping up for the “Emergency” button.
Sensor Privacy Quick Setting
Android Q features a new “Sensor Privacy” Quick Settings that will not be shown by default. Like XDA, we spotted the “Sensors off” description, but it’s still not clear why users would want to disable additional settings that are not addressed by Airplane Mode.
<string name=”quick_settings_tiles_stock”>wifi,cell,battery,dnd,flashlight,rotation,bt,airplane,location, hotspot,inversion,saver,work,cast,night,sensorprivacy
<string name=”accessibility_quick_settings_sensor_privacy_changed_off”>Sensor Privacy turned off.</string>
<string name=”accessibility_quick_settings_sensor_privacy_changed_on”>Sensor Privacy turned on.</string>
<string name=”sensor_privacy_mode”>Sensors off</string>
Also on the security front, a “privacy_chip” might appear at the bottom of the screen to note when an app or multiple are taking advantage of something like location or the microphone.
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_chip_content_multiple_apps”>Applications are using your %s.</string>
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_chip_content_single_app”>%1$s is using your %2$s.</string>
Meanwhile, an in-depth “privacy_dialog” will let users “View details” and possibly take action.
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_dialog_last_separator”>” and “</string>
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_dialog_multiple_apps_title”>Apps using your %s</string>
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_dialog_open_settings”>View details</string>
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_dialog_separator”>”, “</string>
<string name=”ongoing_privacy_dialog_single_app_title”>App using your %s</string>
Android Q might feature additional notification management options. For starters, the shade will just say “Manage” in the bottom-left corner instead of “Manage notifications.”
At the moment, users can hold down on a notification to quickly “Stop notifications” from showing. Q might change that to “Block,” while adding a “Show silently” option.
<string name=”inline_silent_button_alert”>Alert me</string>
<string name=”inline_silent_button_keep_alerting”>Keep alerting</string>
<string name=”inline_silent_button_silent”>Show silently</string>
<string name=”inline_silent_button_stay_silent”>Stay silent</string>
<string name=”notification_channel_silenced”>These notifications will be shown silently</string>
<string name=”notification_channel_unsilenced”>These notifications will alert you</string>
You might also get the option to see/hide low-priority notification icons in the status bar.
<string name=”tuner_low_priority”>Show low-priority notification icons</string>
Announced last June, WPA3 support is likely coming with Android Q
<string name=”wifi_security_owe”>Enhanced Open</string>
On the software front, Android devices like the Moto Z3 have already been updated to support 5G when the necessary Moto Mod becomes available. In the meantime, AT&T is updating devices to show a “5G+” indicator indicator in lieu of LTE in some networks. Regardless, when 5G becomes available Android Q will reflect that in the status bar network indicator.
Dylan contributed to this article