At Google I/O this year, the spotlight was on the company’s new devices. However, the company did talk about some of the cool new features that it plans to roll out with the upcoming Android Q OS for mobile devices. Many of these are already available to developers through Beta roll outs. Here are some of those features.

Bubbles

One of the most anticipated features of Android Q is the new notification tool called Bubbles. It is an optional feature which shows up on top of any apps as a circular bubble, just like the chat heads in Facebook Messenger.

The bubble allows users to see information without closing the app they’re using.

When an app shows its first bubble, a permission dialog appears with two choices— to block all bubbles from that app or allow all bubbles. When the device is locked, bubbles appear like regular notifications.

Live Caption

In order to make Android more user-friendly for people with hearing impairments, Google has added a live caption tool that will transcribe the audio output in any video played by the user in real time, on the phone, be it on social media, a video streaming platform or a live video chat.

The subtitles will be generated through on device machine learning tools and will show at the bottom of the screen. Live Caption will be an optional feature too and users will have to switch it on in accessibility settings.

Full gesture controls

With Andorid Q, Google is offering users the option to switch to full gesture-based navigation. Instead of the three navigation buttons, there will be a single bar at the base.

Swiping up from the bar and holding the finger on the screen will open up the overview windows showing all apps in the background. Similarly, swiping up and removing the finger immediately will take you to the home screen. To go back to a previous page, users will have to swipe inwards from the left or right edge of the screen.

Dark Theme

You might have heard of it as a feature in several apps like Twitter and YouTube. In Android Q, dark theme will be a part of the system UI and will apply on any apps running on the device. This means users can turn the interface of any app dark. This will not only improve visibility for users, especially in low light but will also reduce power usage, resulting in improved battery life.

Project mainline

To enhance the security of Android OS, Google has decided to roll out smaller security patches through the Play Store. As of now these patches are sent through over the air updates and their timely roll out is often slowed down by OEMs, custom UIs and Android’s large user base.

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