Android Q Beta 2 is here !!! Don’t miss the “Bubbles” feature
Android Team headed by Dave Burke released the second beta of Android Q on 3rd April.
Here are the detailed change logs below
What’s new in Beta 2?
Privacy features for testing and feedback
As we shared at Beta 1, we’re making significant privacy investments in Android Q in addition to the work we’ve done in previous releases. Our goals are improving transparency, giving users more control, and further securing personal data across platform and apps. We know that to reach those goals, we need to partner with you, our app developers. We realize that supporting these features is an investment for you too, so we’ll do everything we can to minimize the impact on your apps.
For features like Scoped Storage, we’re sharing our plans as early as possible to give you more time to test and give us your input. To generate broader feedback, we’ve also enabled Scoped Storage for new app installs in Beta 2, so you can more easily see what is affected.
With Scoped Storage, apps can use their private sandbox without permission, but they need new permissions to access shared collections for photos, videos and audio. Apps using files in shared collections — for example, photo and video galleries and pickers, media browsing, and document storage — may behave differently under Scoped Storage.
We recommend getting started with Scoped Storage soon — the developer guide has details on how to handle key use-cases. For testing, make sure to enable Scoped Storage for your app using the adb command. If you discover that your app has a use-case that’s not supported by Scoped Storage, please let us know by taking this short survey. We appreciate the great feedback you’ve given us already, it’s a big help as we move forward with the development of this feature.
Bubbles: a new way to multitask
In Android Q we’re adding platform support for bubbles, a new way for users to multitask and re-engage with your apps. Various apps have already built similar interactions from the ground up, and we’re excited to bring the best from those into the platform, while helping to make interactions consistent, safeguard user privacy, reduce development time, and drive innovation.
Bubbles help users prioritize information and take action deep within another app, while maintaining their current context. They also let users carry an app’s functionality around with them as they move between activities on their device.
Bubbles are great for messaging because they let users keep important conversations within easy reach. They also provide a convenient view over ongoing tasks and updates, like phone calls or arrival times. They can provide quick access to portable UI like notes or translations, and can be visual reminders of tasks too.
We’ve built bubbles on top of Android’s notification system to provide a familiar and easy to use API for developers. To send a bubble through a notification you need to add a BubbleMetadata by calling setBubbleMetadata. Within the metadata you can provide the Activity to display as content within the bubble, along with an icon (disabled in beta 2) and associated person.
As the ecosystem moves quickly toward foldable devices, new use-cases are opening up for your apps to take advantage of these new screens. With Beta 2, you can build for foldable devices through Android Q enhanced platform support, combined with a new foldable device emulator, available as an Android Virtual device in Android Studio 3.5 available in the canary release channel.
On the platform side, we’ve made a number of improvements in onResume and onPause to support multi-resume and notify your app when it has focus. We’ve also changed how the resizeableActivitymanifest attribute works, to help you manage how your app is displayed on foldable and large screens. You can read more in the foldables developer guide.
To set up a runtime environment for your app, you can now configure a foldable emulator as a virtual device (AVD) in Android Studio. The foldable AVD is a reference device that lets you test with standard hardware configurations, behaviors, and states, as will be used by our device manufacturer partners. To ensure compatibility, the AVD meets CTS/GTS requirements and models CDD compliance. It supports runtime configuration change, multi-resume and the new resizeableActivity behaviors.
Use the canary release of Android Studio 3.5 to create a foldable virtual device to support either of two hardware configurations 7.3″ (4.6″ folded) and 8″ (6.6″ folded) with Beta 2. In each configuration, the emulator gives you on-screen controls to trigger fold/unfold, change orientation, and quick actions.
Try your app on the foldable emulator today by downloading the canary release of Android Studio 3.5 and setting up a foldable AVD that uses the Android Q Beta 2 system image.
Following on the initial Sharing Shortcuts APIs in Beta 1, you can now offer a preview of the content being shared by providing an EXTRA_TITLE extra in the Intent for the title, or by setting the Intent’s ClipData for a thumbnail image. See the updated sample application for the implementation details.
Directional, zoomable microphones
Android Q Beta 2 gives apps more control over audio capture through a new MicrophoneDirection API. You can use the API to specify a preferred direction of the microphone when taking an audio recording. For example, when the user is taking a “selfie” video, you can request the front-facing microphone for audio recording (if it exists) by calling setMicrophoneDirection(MIC_DIRECTION_FRONT).
Additionally, this API introduces a standardized way of controlling zoomable microphones, allowing your app to have control over the recording field dimension using setMicrophoneFieldDimension(float).
Compatibility through public APIs
In Android Q we’re continuing our long-term effort to move apps toward only using public APIs. We introduced most of the new restrictions in Beta 1, and we’re making a few minor updates to those lists in Beta 2 to minimize impact on apps. Our goal is to provide public alternative APIs for valid use-cases before restricting access, so if an interface that you currently use in Android 9 Pie is now restricted, you should request a new public API for that interface.
Here’s detailed analysis from Google :
For us, the most interesting one feature is the Bubbles.
Let us know in the comments what do you like from the second edition of Q Beta.