Google has released the first beta preview for Android Q, the tenth anniversary version of its market-leading mobile platform. As you may expect, another year brings another round of new features. Google has named many of the new abilities in Android Q, but what about some of the hidden features?
One particular feature that deserves attention in Android Q is a new desktop mode. In fact, we’re surprised Google has not made a bigger deal of this capability. As the name suggests, desktop mode allows users to use their Android phone connected to a PC.
You may remember Microsoft’s Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile, which was frankly a killer feature that allowed users to connect their device to a PC. Android Q delivers a similar experience, but it is nowhere near as functional as Continuum just yet, but remember Q is still in preview.
Among the abilities offered by desktop mode is a feature that allows free multi-windows, which means users can open apps on desktop and move them around.
With Android Q out in the wild, the question of Android fragmentation is raised again. This problem has affected the platform for years. Android Q may be available in preview, but most Android device owners have not even received the update for Android Pie, despite it being available for four months.
Indeed, hundreds of millions of Android users are still on Lollipop, Marshmallow (2015), and Nougat (2016). Those three versions are not even supported by OEMs anymore. No Android version holds over 35% of the market, a problem Google hopes to solve with Android Q.
The company says the new version will be made available to more smartphones at launch. Google Project Treble is a framework that make placing new Android builds onto smartphones easier. It is designed to make the process simpler for OEMs and is moving into full swing. Google says Treble maturity will allow more smartphones to get Android 10.