Android 10 (formerly named Q) begins rolling out now to Google’s Pixel phones. Non-Pixel Android devices will apparently get the update later this year. Announced at Google I/O, the update boasts a range of new features, such as:

  • New privacy and security features (including around location).
  • A number of “digital well-being” controls to limit screen time and prevent distraction.
  • Gesture navigation (swiping, pulling, similar to the iPhone).
  • Smart reply (combining suggested responses with recommended actions/apps).
  • Dark theme (saves battery).
  • Live captions for video, podcasts and audio messages.
  • Faster bug fixes and security updates.

Google is placing more emphasis on privacy and security in Android 10. Users will now have more control over location and can grant apps location access in the background (always), while in use or never.

Google will periodically remind users when an app is accessing location in the background so that they can turn it off. This feature is something Apple used to have on the iPhone before it was discontinued because of developer objections.

Privacy settings will be easier to find in this update, which will be found in a single location. Web activity and Ad Settings will be housed there as well.

Users will be able to determine how long Google stores data. There is an an auto-delete capability for location history, as an example. You can tell Google to save your data for three months or 18 months. Once that time period is up, the data will be wiped. Users can opt out of retargeting and ad personalization.

Features like Family Link and Focus Mode help users control screen time and mute distracting apps. Users will also be able exercise more control over notifications.

SourceGreg Sterling