Android 10 new features and changes

We’ve had some time delving deep into the Android Q or Android 10 betas over the past few months. Now that the full release is here we’re going to dive even deeper and share every new feature and change we’ve found in Android 10 — arguably the biggest ever release of the world’s most popular mobile OS.

While more than just cosmetic changes abound in Android 10, we’ll just be focusing on the end-user facing updates. Of course, these include the design, interface, and operation of the biggest Android overhaul in some time.

As mentioned, we’ve covered many of the new features that have been slowly introduced and refined over the Android 10 — formerly Android Q Beta program. If you’ve already been updating your device since the very first beta, then there likely won’t be any surprises right out of the gate but there may be some tweaks and enhancements you simply weren’t aware of.

Here is every new feature, alteration, design change or tweak in Android 10.

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UI Changes

  • System-wide dark theme – Notification toggle enables darker apps and associated menus
  • Updated Emergency power menu – Includes an updated icon that is much more universal
  • Device uptime added to Settings > About phone – Check the current uptime of your device since initial power-on
  • Bluetooth devices get colorful icons – Every connected device now has a pastel color icon for easier management
  • Data usage UI tweaks and enhancements – More informative charts and app data usage information
  • Updated APK installer UI – Now follows the rest of the Android 10 UI changes
  • New Password Autofill redesign – Rounder corners and follows the system dark theme setting
  • Updated gestures
    • Back sensitivity gestures – Allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the back gesture
  • Improved share menu – Now includes more app sharing options alongside a new Material Theme
  • New ‘Permissions Manager’ – Manage and control all individual app permissions and access to your device data and sensors
  • Adaptive Notifications now has a revamped settings UI

Usability changes

  • Native Screen recorder – No need to install a secondary screen recording app to share your device display (not user-facing)
  • Chat bubbles for app notifications – Can be enabled from within Developer Settings to emulate Facebook chatheads for all notifications
  • Scrubber bar for media in the notification shade – Quickly scrub forward or backward within audio for more fine control
  • Wi-Fi Easy Connect – Scan a QR code to connect or share your Wi-Fi network
  • Audio balance within accessibility settings – Tweak audio balance from left to right for an optimum audio experience
  • Copycat Zen Mode in Digitial Wellbeing – Focus mode allows you to lock out access to select apps for a set period of time
  • Quick settings tile to disable device sensors – Instantly disable every device sensor including GPS, proximity sensor and more
  • Text selection now has haptic feedback – When selecting text your phone will now vibrate as you make a selection
  • Quick settings moves the edit button and carrier name
  • File picker gets an indicator to pull up for more options
  • Sleep setting named Screen timeout – Settings and options remain the same
  • Silent notifications now at the bottom of the notification shade –
  • Long press notifications options – Further options for silencing, editing settings and more
  • Notification channels now have a pop-up panel – Allows you to quickly change app notification settings
  • Wi-Fi password sharing – Quickly share your Wi-Fi network details using a QR code or alternatively the previously entered text passcode
  • Smart battery saver – Further options to set the level at which your phone automatically enters Battery Saver Mode
  • Battery saver disables when battery charged – When charging your phone now leaves Battery Saver Mode when above 90%
  • Night Sight now in Main Camera UI
  • Image previews now in Share Sheet – Get a small preview of the image you’re are sharing
  • Volume settings shortcut now pops up panel in slider – On-screen adjustments can be made for multiple audio settings without needing to enter device Settings
  • Live wallpaper previews – Allows you to see a full-screen preview of live wallpapers before applying
  • Active Edge feedback tweaks – On-screen animations show you more accurate pressure activation information
  • Notification snoozing now disabled by default – Swiping left on a notification within the notification shade only shows settings icon, can be re-enabled within Settings
  • Assistant gesture hints – Small semi-circle hints will intermittently show in the bottom left and right corners should you have navigation Gestures enabled. Swiping diagonally will activate the Google Assistant when in this mode
  • New audio output switching menu – The volume overflow menu now allows you to choose your current audio output in a pop-up menu
  • Smart Reply now everywhere – Contextual smart replies are now available across all apps
  • Android Beam removed – We’re still awaiting a replacement for the wireless NFC file sharing

Cosmetic upgrades

  • Estimated battery life in quick settings – Up in the top right you get an estimation of the lifespan of your device
  • Themes – Brought in with Android Q Beta 1, you can now modify your Pixel theme accent, font sizes, styles and icon shape
  • At A Glance widget on Pixel Launcher now bolder
  • Relocated lock icon on lock screen
  • Grayscale for individual apps – Part of the new Digital Wellbeing update allowing you to set grayscale settings for individual apps
  • App info page redesigned – Gives you a more organized page with key information in headers alongside the app icon
  • Ambient Display shows more music info during playback – Now shows more organized artist, track and album information
  • New battery and Wi-Fi icon – The new icons are hollow and fill when signal strength or battery capacity increases or decreases
  • Profile picture within Settings
  • Emergency information page redesigned – Now visible in a single page view rather than tabbed. Also allows you to add a profile image
  • New enter key on lock screen – Colored ‘enter’ key will follow any device accent theme settings
  • Bell icon on recent notifications – The most recent notification now has a small ‘bell’ icon informing you of which is the most recent
  • Dark theme boot animation – Will change to a light theme respecting system settings
  • Darker fast rotation button
  • Material Theme for Files app
  • Material Theme for Google Wallpapers
  • Gboard adjusts to your accent theme
  • Squeeze to talk now part of Active Edge – A pop-up message appears to prompt you to ‘Squeeze to talk’ and activate the Google Assistant
  • Ending a call now has a new tone

So that is every new feature and change you’ll see in the full release of Android 10 for Pixel phones. If you haven’t already installed it, we have a handy guide showing you just how to get the latest version on your Pixel here.

If you have been enrolled in the previous Android Q beta program, already know the new features inside out and have used them to death, then let us know your favorites down in the comments section below. Also conversely, what do you want to see from Android 11 now that the full-fat Queen Cake has been served. Let us know down there too.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email:

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