Maria Montero

Google I / O 2019: everything you need to know about …

Moving to Beta 3 of its development cycle, Android Q saw several updates announced in the Google I / O Developer Conference 2019. With Android Q, Google has reached the 10th version of Android with more than 2.5 billion active devices distributed around the world.

Native support for foldable devices.

At the conference, Google said that foldable devices are going to be a big thing this year. Several manufacturers have been working on building folding devices since last year and we will see more devices of this type enter the market.

Android Q is said to be optimized for these devices and scales based on screen dimensions. Multitasking will be huge and supporting different configurations could have been a challenge without native OS support. This also includes being able to continue using applications smoothly when screens are folded or unfolded.

Smart Reply and Smart Suggestions integration

Continuing with the machine learning features on the Google device, Smart Reply has now been integrated into the Android notification system. This means that all messaging apps will be able to take advantage of Smart Reply from now on.

Suggested actions in Android Q.

Smart suggestions in Android Q.

Smart Suggestions was another useful feature that automatically detected text content and suggested relevant actions accordingly. For example, if a user copies a contact number and highlights it, it will give them the option to make a call directly. The same feature has now been integrated with Smart Reply in the notification menu. So if someone sends an address through a messaging application, Smart Reply will be able to detect that it is an address and suggest the user to open it directly on Google Maps.

Live Caption

Among the most interesting features that surprised the audience at the conference was Live Caption. Falling for machine learning products on Google’s device, Live Caption will automatically generate subtitles for any type of video that is played on the device. It can be a video call, podcast, voice message, or video that is played on YouTube. The function will be activated as soon as the device detects any type of speech. Google collaborated with the deaf community to build this feature, making the technology more accessible to them.

To view the captions, all the user has to do is tap the Live Caption button that appears below the volume level menu. And best of all, users will not need an active internet connection to generate captions, as everything is done within the device. This also makes it more secure as none of the data will leave the device.

New functionalities in digital well-being.

Digital Wellbeing was launched last year with Android Pie to allow users to control and monitor their screen time. Google is adding a new feature called Focus Mode. It will allow users to pause and temporarily disable some apps that can be distracting in this mode. Users will not be able to open these applications when the mode is enabled.

Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls on Android Q.

Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls on Android Q.

Google stated that the average age of children receiving phones is eight in the US While that’s just a fact, Android will get more parental controls under Family Link, which will be built into digital well-being.

5G support

In addition to the major updates announced for Beta 3, there were a couple of other small updates. Android Q will be the first operating system to support 5G connectivity. This means that Android Q will provide tools for developers to create 5G-compliant applications to implement blazing fast connectivity in all kinds of applications, be it for games or for augmented reality.

System-wide dark theme

Finally, the system-wide dark theme is making its way to Android Q. It can be easily changed from the Quick Settings menu. This mode will be highly beneficial for devices that use OLED displays, and it will end up saving a lot of battery life. The Dark theme will also turn on automatically when battery saver is turned on, automatically or manually.