Penultimate Android Q Beta reaching Pixels with tweaks and messy gestures

Google typically refrains from altering much in final betas of new Android versions, however the latest and final Beta 5 of Android Q addresses many issues introduced in earlier builds while introducing its own.

Since the inception of Google‘s Android Beta program with Nougat in 2016, Google has followed a cadence of five pre-release builds with the final two featuring next-to-no differences with the presence of final APIs for developers.

With the latest Android Q Beta program, and the release of its 5th and final beta for Pixels today though, Google has included six notable user-facing changes:

Android now boots with a dark theme when the system dark theme is enabled

Pretty self-explanatory, but when Android Q’s new system-wide dark mode is enabled, the phone will start and restart with white text on a black background instead of the typical vice-versa – yay.

The Google Search Bar follows wallpaper theme rather than system theme

Rather than following the system-wide dark theme toggle, the Google Search Bar now bases its light/darkness off the lightness off the wallpaper which makes sense as far as having a unified home screen goes.

Android Q Gestures now include corner swipes for Google Assistant

The problematic gestures introduced in Beta 2 remove all buttons from the bottom of the screen, unlike Android Pie‘s pill and back button, but this also meant that there was no way to trigger Google Assistant directly on phones that didn’t feature dedicated buttons or squeeze sensors.

Android Q Beta 5 finds a new gesture to remedy this with highlighted corner gestures which will now trigger Google Assistant, a useful if not particularly intuitive design.

Android Q Gestures still don’t work with third-party launchers

Unfortunately, though the 5th Q Beta may address the missing Google Assistant functionality, it does not fix the terrible lack of functionality of the gestures when clashing against third-party launchers.

Google’s response to these problems has been to confirm that the problem will not be fixed even with Android Q’s official launch, and to state that navigation will thus revert to the classic three-button layout when third-party launchers are enabled – which itself was found to be buggy and fail miserably by Kellen at Droid Life.

Notification snoozing can now be disabled

If you’re like me then you literally never snooze notifications (even in the occasional circumstance where it may actually be useful), and now in the latest penultimate Android Q Beta you can disable the feature entirely if you want; defaulting to disabled, the new option is found in notification settings and will simply remove the button from the menu on half-swiped notifications.

App-specific notification priority settings now have different names

Android Q features the ability to make notifications come in silently on a per-app and per-app-channel basis on top of disabling them entirely under the labels of ‘Prioritised’ and ‘Gentle’ – where the latter does not make noise nor appear in the status bar nor lock screen when received.

Well in Android Q Beta 5 those options have been given the much more intuitive and unified labels of ‘Alerting’ and ‘Silent’, with simpler descriptions and nicer icons as well; just a nice little tweak.

That does it for the new features and tweaks in the second-to-last Android Q Beta – I doubt there’ll be much worthy of note in the final one next month, but be sure that we here at Talk Android will report on anything that is!

Source and images: Droid Life

Located in Melbourne, Australia, Oscar has been a tech enthusiast for a decade, though only finally getting his first smartphone with an HTC One M7, and moving to a OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3, and now an Essential Phone. Now studying astrophysics and linguistics, Oscar has become immersed in the evolving phone industry, with a great memory for specs and details, he is always looking to find the greatest value and most innovative phones.

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