Google has released the latest version of Android, ‘Android 10’. The new operating system has been modified in line with various innovations including 5G connectivity, gesture navigation, Face ID authentication and support for folded screens.
Android 10 brings a system-wide dark mode, otherwise known as ‘Dark Theme’. The new Dark Theme can save battery life on devices with AMOLED displays, or simply provide you with a new look.
Notably, Android 10 does not feature Android Beam, the NFC peer-to-peer sharing method when two devices are back-to-back.
Android 10 gets dark
Dark Theme can be triggered by a quick settings button that switches between the default ‘Light’ Theme and the new Dark Theme. Alternatively, you can turn on Battery Saver mode which will automatically initiate Dark Theme.
Developers can customise the Dark Theme, so it’s possible you’ll find various dark themes within the Play Store in the upcoming months.
Further design updates include 65 new emojis.
Thanks to Android 10, apps are now able to adapt to differing screen sizes and layouts on the same device, depending on whether a screen is folded or unfolded.
Bearing a similarity to Apple’s ‘Screen Time’, Android 10 brings its own version called ‘Digital well-being’. Digital well-being gives you a range of options to manage your screen time in a healthy way.
‘Focus Mode’, for example, lets you silence apps for a selected amount of time to help you concentrate on another task. Ideal if you want to mute your personal messenger notifications while sending a work email.
‘Family Link’, allows you to monitor how much time your children are spending on games or other apps, and how long they’re spending on their phone in general. The new feature also lets you set screen time limits, content restrictions and monitor where your children are, based on their device location.
Android 10 introduces key new features including; ‘Sound Amplifier’, Hearing Aid Support and 'Live Transcribe'.
Sound Amplifier allows you to dramatically improve your headphone experience by letting you boost sound, reduce background noise and more. Ideal for listening to podcasts in a busy coffee shop, or when listening to music at your local gym.
Hearing aid support on the other hand, looks to improve accessibility by allowing Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids to stream phone calls and media.
Live Transcribe offers real-time transcriptions for the world around you. This means you can receive sound events that show you when someone is clapping, a dog is barking, someone is whistling, and more.
For those familiar with automated suggested responses in Gmail, the ‘Smart Reply’ feature may be a welcome addition to mobile. Smart Reply uses machine learning to suggest suitable replies, depending on the received message, and learns to type like you the more you use it.
The feature can also calculate appropriate actions, for example, opening Maps when an address is sent, or your Calendar if it recognises a date.
With Android 10, you can filter app permissions to quickly see which apps you’ve given access to your location, microphone, camera, contacts and more. The new broad overview also means you can easily toggle off or on individual apps.
Better yet, Android 10 introduces QR code generation when sharing your network login with a guest, so you no longer need to share your password when the app is open.
Finally, Google has introduced an option to ‘opt-out’ of ad personalisation and re-targeting campaigns.
Android 10 is currently launched on the
- Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL,
- Google Pixel 3a / Pixel 3a XL,
- Google Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL,
- Google Pixel / Pixel XL,
- Essential Phone,
- OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro.
It’s expected that other Android models will launch the update between now and early 2020.