Every Android release in recent years has iterated on the Ambient Display, with Android Q today making a handful of tweaks. Currently playing media is now displayed underneath the time, while battery status has been moved to a more logical location.
For starters, the name “Ambient Display” — in Beta 1 anyways — does not appear in settings. In Display, there is a new combined “Lock screen display” menu with a “When to show” section that users can set to “Always on.” Searching for “Ambient” in settings, however, brings up that appropriate page.
Meanwhile, when media is playing, it is now reflected on the Always-on Display. Appearing underneath the time, it replaces the day and date, as well as weather condition and temperature from the Pixel Launcher. It features the app icon, song title, and artist. So far, we’ve tested it with videos from YouTube and YouTube Music, as well as Spotify.
Update 3/14: The Always-on Display now also shows travel-related ETAs. Scheduled commutes to work or back home will appear in a new pill at the bottom of the AOD and lock screen. It includes you preferred method of travel, time estimate, and destination. (Thanks lorus, Hunter)
Update 3/15: Instead of Calendar events prominently replacing the clock and date, appointments will appear towards the bottom of the screen. This pill features a generic icon, countdown, and event name. However, it does not feature the event duration beforehand (like on Pie) and is visually smaller. These items also appear on the lockscreen.
Elsewhere, the battery status is no longer displayed at the very bottom of the screen. While this placement makes sense as it is in close physical proximity to the USB-C port and good for noting the charging speed, Android users are more familiar with battery percentage in the top-right corner.
This is the case in Android Q and matches the position when the screen is active and unlocked. Additionally, this new location is less likely to crowd Now Playing on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3.