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Second Android Q beta now available for Pixel phones

The second Android Q developer preview features chat bubbles and new app switching gestures.

Published onApril 3, 2019

Today, Google announced the second Android Q developer preview on the Android Developers Blog. The early version of the upcoming Android OS upgrade follows the first Android Q developer preview that launched back in March.

One new feature of the second Android Q developer preview is what Google calls Bubbles. Built into Android’s notification system, Bubbles float on top of an app and follow you wherever you are in the OS. You can also expand Bubbles to reveal app functionality and information and collapse Bubbles when you’re done. Think of them like chatheads that apps like Facebook Messenger have used for years.

Google Bubbles feature Android Q Beta 2

Another feature is one mainly geared toward developers — a new foldables emulator. When combined with Android Q’s support for foldable devices at the platform level, developers should have a much easier time developing apps for foldable devices if they focus on Android Q.

The emulator is available as an Android virtual device in Android Studio 3.5, which is available in the canary release channel at the time of this writing. Google didn’t say when the beta and stable releases for Android Studio 3.5 will be available.

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Other new features include a new MicrophoneDirection API that gives developers more control over the direction of audio capture, minor updates to Google’s list of public APIs, further adjustments to the improved share sheet, and privacy features like Scoped Storage enabled for new app installs. With Scoped Storage, apps need new permissions to access shared collections of pictures, videos, and audio.

The second Android Q developer preview is now available for all Pixel phones and includes the April 2019 security patch. You can grab system images and the OTAs at the links below.