It’s been a little over five months since Google released Android Pie, the latest and greatest version of its popular mobile operating system. But even though the newest Android release is yet to make its way to a lot of (eligible) smartphones, Google has (surely) started working on the OS’ successor, dubbed (at least, for now) Android Q. Except for a few rumors and speculations, there hasn’t been much information about the future version of Android, until now.
The folks at XDA Developers have somehow managed to get their hands on a (very) early build of Android Q on the Pixel 3 XL. While this isn’t the build that Google will release as part of Android Q Developer Preview program (which is expected to commence around March this year), it does highlight some of the key features that the company is likely working on for the next major version of its mobile OS.
As noted by XDA Developers, perhaps one of the most interesting things discovered in the build is a ‘Force Desktop Mode’ option. Nestled under ‘Developer Options’, it features a description that reads – “force experimental desktop on secondary displays”. Going by the name, it’s very much possible that ‘Force Desktop Mode’ is something that can project the UI of Android Q on a monitor. And if that’s indeed the case, connecting an external keyboard and mouse would allow an Android Q-powered smartphone (most likely a flagship) to work as a mini desktop PC, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series devices that work with the Samsung DeX dock.
Obviously, that’s not all! It was recently reported that with Android Q, Google may finally bring a system-wide ‘Dark Mode’, a feature that users have been requesting for a really long time. Indeed, the Android Q build does come with a ‘Dark Mode’ option, which can be enabled by using the ‘Set Dark Mode’ option under the OS’ display settings. It’s worth mentioning that many of Google’s apps, such as News and YouTube have already been updated with dark theme support.
Google also seems to be putting extra focus on security and price in Android Q. The folks at XDA Developers have noted that the Android Q build features revamped settings for managing permissions requested by apps. Now, it’s possible to restrict an app to use certain information (e.g. location) only when it’s being used.
Watch: Google Pixel 3 XL Hands On
Some other features discovered in the early Android Q build include relocated settings for ‘Always On Display’, improvements to Files app, new Screen Lock settings, and more.