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Android Q brings no-reboot security patches, introduces Focus Mode

The new features are included in Android Q, which is coming later this year.

Published onMay 7, 2019

Google IO 2019 android innovation Stephanie Cuthbertson

During the Google I/O 2019 developer conference, Google announced a trio of new features that will debut in Android Q later this year.

First up is Project Mainline, which aims to get security patches to more smartphones more consistently and discreetly. The landscape of Android updates is depressing, with phones running on older Android versions and security patches.

With Project Mainline, Google pushes out security updates itself instead of relying on carriers and manufacturers to do so. For the time being, Google is focusing on 14 “modules” that it can update directly as if they were Google apps. Best of all, the security patches will download and install in the background without needing to reboot your device.

android security os framework Google 2019 IO

Keep in mind that Project Mainline will only be a feature for phones that ship with Android Q out of the box — it won’t be a feature for phones that get updated from Android 9 Pie to Android Q. Also, manufacturers can opt out of some of the updates.

Lastly, phones that aren’t on Google Play’s infrastructure is having their Project Mainline updates open-sourced from Google.

Google confirms system-wide dark mode is coming to Android Q
Dark theme or dark mode in Android Q.

As for other new Android Q features, Google also announced Focus Mode. An extension of the existing Digital Wellbeing, Focus Mode lets you select a list of apps you find distracting. Once you select any number of apps, Focus Mode then grays them out and hides their notifications.

Also part of the updated Digital Wellbeing feature-set are integrated parental controls. Parental controls already existed on Android through the Family Link app, but they’re now baked into Android Q. One notable parental control is “5 more minutes,” which lets you grant your kid an extra five minutes if they insist on using a device for a bit longer.

As initially mentioned, all of these features arrive with Android Q later this year.

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