Google has officially launched Android 10 ending a month-long wait that precedeed when the company’s next generation mobile operating system missed its August deadline. Google has started rolling out Android 10 on to Pixel smartphones, which includes all eight Pixel phones – Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL – and the company said that smartphones by other manufacturers will start getting the update later in the year.
In addition to the Pixel smartphones, Android 10 update is also available on Essential smartphones by Android creator Andy Rubin. The update, as Essential’s Twitter page suggests, is available for select open market customers only.
As far as features are concerned, Android 10 is loaded with functionalities. While some like smart replies are intended at making it easier for users to respond to messages others like focus mode are aimed at helping users disconnect from the apps that distract them time to time.
If you are an Android smartphone user and want to know what Google has in store for you with Android 10, here are 10 things that will help you decode Google’s lastest mobile operating system.
1. Dark Theme: Android 10 finally brings a dark theme to Android’s ecosystem. According to Google it uses true Black to increase the battery life of a smartphone. What’s interesting about the dark theme is that fact that users can either choose to implement it on a system-wide basis on in select apps that they like.
2. Live Caption: It automatically captions videos, audio messages and podcasts across apps. It also captions media files that users record. This feature will be available on Pixel smartphones this fall.
3. Smart Reply: This features besides suggesting replies for messages received in various apps also recommends users actions based on the messages that they have received. So when a friend sends a user a message with an address or a YouTube video, they can open and navigate the same in Google Maps or open up the video in YouTube without copying the URL.
4. Sound Amplifier: This feature essentially allows users adjust sound settings of their smartphones even in noisy surroundings. According to Android website, users can boost sound, filter background noise and fine tune the audio of their smartphone to get the best listening experience.
5. Gesture Navigation: This features increases the fluidity in using the Android OS. Users can go backwards and forwards, switch between apps, go home using simple and smooth gestures.
6. Privacy controls: Android 10 is loaded with privacy features. For starters, users can get all their privacy settings like Web and App Activity and Ad Settings in one place. In addition to that users will get to decide what all data is being stored by the apps and for how long that data is being stored. Users will also have the option of opting out if ad retargeting and personalisation.
7. Location Controls: Now, Android smartphone users will have the ability to choose when their location data is shared with the apps. They can pick between three options – always, never or when the app is in use. Also, Google will remind users about the apps that they are not using actively but are using their location data so that they can decide if they want to continue sharing their data.
8. Security Updates: Ususally it takes weeks if not months for device makers to roll out Android updates to smartphones. This sometimes leaves the smartphones vulnerable to critical flaws. Google aims to fix that with Android 10. “With Google Play system updates, important Security and Privacy fixes can now be sent directly to your phone from Google Play, just the same way all your other apps update. So you get these fixes as soon as they are available,” Android website says.
9. Focus Mode: Google has enhanced its commitment to Digital Wellbeing with Android 10. The newly launched mobile OS comes with a new Focus Mode that allows users to select and silent apps that distract them until they come out of this mode. However, users will have to sign up as a beta tester to use this mode.
10. Family Link: Family Link is now a part of all the devices running Android 9 or 10. Parents can use these tools to set daily screen time limits, device bedtime, time limits on specific apps, and more for their kids. They can also review the apps children install on their devices and see their usage.
Besides this, Android 10 features 65 new emojis, including 56 gender inclusive emojis. It also comes with support for direct audio streaming to hearing aid devices.