Right on schedule, Google has released the fourth Android Q Beta. As expected, the search giant has also made the final APIs and official SDK available so that developers can start updating their apps and uploading them to the Play Store to test for Android Q compatibility.
Users already running the Android Q beta will likely not see many changes after installing the firmware update. Over the coming weeks, though, developers will start updating their apps. This process will take a bit of time, but it should result in a smoother and less buggy user experience.
What’s new in Android Q Beta 4
The one user interface change that Google included in its announcement is improvements to Android Q’s new gesture navigation system. Based on the animation, users should no longer see the white bar while on the homescreen. Additionally, the gesture bar looks to be wider and is overlaid on top of apps running in the foreground.
After installing Android Q Beta 4 on our devices, though, it doesn’t look like these changes made it to the release. The gesture bar is still pretty small and sits in its own block of pixels below running apps.
See this in action below:
As mentioned, with Beta 4, Google has released the final APIs and SDK for Android Q. The Play Store now allows developers to start uploading app updates that include API 29 to test compatibility with the operating system.
Google recommends that developers test their apps with scoped storage, the new location permission, and other changes made in Android Q. The full list of items that might affect app compatibility can be found here.
Once the basics are done, the Silicon Valley company welcomes developers to start preparing for the foldable form factor, automatic dark theme switching, gesture navigation, and more. These features aren’t necessary for compatibility with Android Q, but it will bring welcome functionality for users in the future.
Installing Android Q Beta 4
Pixel owners with devices already enrolled in the beta program should start to see the OTA update arrive any time now. Those not signed up can do so here or choose to download the new system images by clicking on the button below. Just a quick reminder that if you decide to side-load the firmware, your device will not receive future builds OTA.
As promised, Google has added the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL back to the beta program. Both phones, along with the full lineup of Pixel handsets, will be running the June security patch that was rolled out to Android Pie devices several days ago.