Android 10, now released for the more recent Google Phones. We tested out the new update on the mid-range pixel 3a. If you are champing at the bit to get this latest update, make sure you are on a good connection. Quite a hefty download. Downloading on Wi-Fi will save your data allowance!
Click here for a list of devices getting Android 10 soon.
Already fully involved with Android, just want the details? Everything we could find is explained below, enjoy!
Android 10 Features
New Gesture Navigation
You can now use your swipes to direct the device to certain functions. For example, rather than just a swipe, you could tie in a half swipe to a command such as ‘homescreen’.
More Dark Mode
Dark Mode is spreading across more default apps. Now system wide, not just settings! Personally, dark mode is easier on the eyes. The jury is out on whether it is better for the battery or not.
Hearing aid support!
Live transcribe – more on this below.
Accessibility Timeouts – Excellent if the menus disappear off screen too quickly for you.
Privacy and Security
Find and adjust all your privacy settings in one place. This is a welcome addition. No more having to load up Google to check your account settings. Covers settings from App permissions to Web & App Activity, to location history.
You can now set which data is stored and for how long.
Control on the fly, when location sharing with apps: all the time, while in use, or never.
Opt out of ad retargeting and personalization. If you don’t want to be subconsciously directed into everything you buy, this is a must.
New location controls and reminder
You now have more control over how, or if, your location data is shared. When an app asks permission to access your location information, you can now award it access all the time, while the app is in use, or deny it access. If an app has access to location data all the time, then Android will remind you with a one-time notification. Need to change the access? No problem, just go to your settings.
Android Emergency Location Services
Android 10 helps keeps you safe when urgent situations occur. “ELS” can send enhanced location directly from Android handsets to emergency services when an emergency call is placed.
Google Play system updates
Android devices already get regular security updates. In Android 10, you’ll get them faster and easier. With Google Play system updates, important Security and Privacy fixes can be sent directly to your phone from Google Play, the same way your other apps update. You will get these fixes as soon as available.
Very good to see; a lot of new improvements for the camera.
HEIF Imaging Support for new file format (.heic) to save still images. Files with this format can store both video and audio on the same file.
New file format to capture, store, and share depth photos (including AR – Augmented Reality) across Android.
Monochrome camera support
New camera type support which enables app developers to get monochrome output natively on devices that list this capability. Hence, more black and white pictures!
Some camera characteristics now require camera permissions prior to being accessed.
Focus mode – Great for studying. Your device will only notify you of allowed apps.
Family link – Set bedtime mode, limit time of use and remotely lock device ensuring breaks are taken.
Site timers – Another parental feature. One hour allowance a day on Youtube for example.
Live caption (live transcribe)
Create live real-time, instant transcriptions of video, podcasts etc. As soon as speech is detected, captions will appear.
Sound amplifier – Boost sound and filter background noise depending on your personal listening requirements.
Messaging and sharing
Suggested actions in notifications and smart reply
If you feel you don’t want to retype that usual answer. Android now generates suggested replies and actions for all messaging notifications. If you wish it, of course. Developers will be able to opt out or supply their own suggestions.
65 new emojis to use!
You can share your Wi-Fi details with guests via QR code while keeping your password secure. Excellent addition for added security. Sharing QR codes is painless compared to finding the little card with the password on.
Now quicker and easier to share content from apps with your contacts. You can also preview your content before sending.
If moisture or debris is detected in your USB port, a notification will be sent to you and accessories will not function. Living or working in humid conditions might cause this to be an annoyance rather than a benefit.
With Android 10, you can organize and prioritize notifications by marking them as “silent” or “alerting”. Silent and alerting notifications are separated in the notifications bar, making it easier for you to see what needs your attention.
Now easier to find and manage notifications Settings straight from notifications. Just pull it down, scroll to the bottom and tap manage in the bottom left hand corner.
Android Auto (Driving Mode)
Android Auto now comes built-in, so you can simply plug in your phone and start using Android on your car’s display. Thus, no app download required.
So, there you have it. A raft of new features waiting to be used. Will you use all the new features? Probably not. At least they are there, just in case!
The increased user focused privacy options are very welcome, a little late in the game but welcome.
Don’t have a Google phone? Many people are still waiting for the update. Do not panic. If your device is not on the list yet, chances are it will be soon. These things usually take time.