At I/O 2019, Google announced a slew of changes to Android Q and unveiled the high-level tentpole features. Android Q Beta 4 today takes a notable step towards launch in Q3 with final APIs and Play Store publishing for developers.
Android Q Beta 4 features a standard API level (29) and the official SDK for developers. This allows app makers to begin final compatibility testing and preparing new features. Applications that take advantage of functionality in the latest operating system can be published to the Play Store for Q Beta devices.
Here’s everything new in Android Q Beta 4 (list in reverse chronological order):
- ‘Screen attention’ keeps your screen on while looking at it
- Digital Wellbeing adds App Timer countdowns to Recents view
- WiFi icon gets a redesign, new shortcut for Network settings
- System-wide ‘slide-up’ transition is now a ‘zoom’ effect
- Gestures tweaked for fullscreen apps, PiP, notifications, more
- ‘Screen Pinning’ is disabled when using gesture navigation
- ‘Dynamic System Updates’ are live to let you try new OS versions
- Play Store, Files show how apps should treat the back gesture
- Smart Lock may be rebranded as ‘Pixel Presence’
- Google Pay cards could live in power menu w/ ‘Cards & Passes’
- ‘Adaptive Notifications’ arrive w/ revamped settings UI
- ‘Bubbles’ are now in preview, not a developer option
- Date and weather widget on Pixel homescreen is subtly bolder
- Notifications once again be swiped away in both directions
- Dark Theme tweaks in Pixel Launcher, notifications, more
- ‘Face authentication’ appears in settings, reveals some features
- Pixel devices get a tweaked lock screen w/ relocated lock icon
- New accent colors arrive w/ ‘Space,’ ‘Cinnamon,’ more
- The handy contextual rotation button is back
At I/O 2019, Google introduced a full gestural navigation system. While there is no change in Beta 4 yet, the official developer blog post for this release interestingly shows a wider bar that is fully overlaid on the app behind it, with no white strip. Additionally, the bar disappears on the homescreen.
Beta 4 is build QPP4.190502.018 and includes the June security patch. Users can submit bugs through the Android Beta Feedback app, the Reddit community, and the issue tracker. Two more releases are scheduled before the public launch in Q3 2019.
Android Q Beta 4 system images are available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL, as well as the new Pixel 3a and 3a XL. Users can also install as an OTA by manual download or the Android Beta program.