Android 10 is finally out after years of hard work and development. Today the Android 10 source is being released to Android Open Source Project, and all three generations of Pixel devices will be the first one to get the Android 10 which will, then, be extended to other partner devices including those which are in Beta program.
The main aim of the new mobile operating system is having the necessary support for emerging devices such as foldable and 5H smartphones, focusing more on the privacy and security as well as focusing on the users’ digital wellbeing controls.
In order to keep up with the requirements of the foldable devices, Android 10 is built on robust multi-window support. For 5G supporting smartphones, it adds platform support for 5G and extends existing APIs. Android 10 will enable Live Caption which automatically captions the media playing on the users’ device be it videos or podcasts. Pixel devices will receive this Live Caption this fall. In order to help save battery and to work efficiently in low light, Android Q introduces a dark theme. Gesture navigation is added to get rid of the navigation bar area altogether so that the apps get the maximum optimization.
Android 10 comes with an improved system UI, stricter permissions and restrictions to ensure optimum privacy for its users, letting the user be in control of who and what shares their data, location or otherwise, through a new permission option which seeks the permission of the user for accessing location data. To prevent device tracking, Android Q apps cannot access non-resettable device identifiers. Now apps must use the MediaStore to access shared media files, making it more secure for user data in external storage.
Android 10 also amps up encryption, introduces Adiantum, platform hardening and authentication. The mobile operating system is working with devices to bring Dynamic Depth for photos which offer blur and bokeh options in the app. The new Audio playback capture can let other apps capture the audio streaming from this app. It has been developed, however, keeping in mind the privacy and security factors. Using the Android 10 now users can stream high-quality video using less bandwidth. On top of that, audio encoding using Opus, and HDR10+ will also be available. The developers have made Vulkan 1.1 a requirement on all 64-bit devices.
In terms of connectivity, the peer-to-peer connectivity is claimed by the developers to be better in Android 10, along with managing IoT devices and suggesting internet connections. Apps can now request adaptive Wi-Fi by enabling high performance and low latency modes. This is particularly benefitting for real-time gaming, active voice calls, similar use-cases, etc.
Faster ART means, users can now open apps faster than before without consuming too much memory. The blog post has also boasted about the fact that Android 10 has introduced operations like ARGMAX, ARGMIN, quantized LSTM, and other 60 new operations which can lay new foundations for new a new range of models equipped to detect objects, and image segmentation.
Android 10 is the first to support Project Mainline or the Google Play system updates using which the operating system can update specific internal components on all devices. The blogpost released a step by step instruction on how to get apps ready for Android 10. The steps as mentioned by the blog post are as follows:
“1. Install your app on Android 10: Install your current app from Google Play onto a Pixel or other device running Android 10 or an emulator, then test. Your app should look great and run well, with full functionality, and handle all of the Android 10 behavior changes properly. Watch for impacts from privacy changes, gesture navigation, changes to dynamic linker paths for Bionic libraries, and others.
2. Test with the Android 10 privacy features, such as the new location permissions, scoped storage, restrictions on background activity starts, changes to data and identifiers, and others. See the checklist of top privacy changes to get started, and review the privacy changes doc for more areas to test.
3. Test for uses of restricted non-SDK interfaces and move to public SDK or NDK equivalents instead.
4. Test the libraries and SDKs in your app: If you find an issue, try updating to the latest version of the SDK, or reach out to the SDK developer for help.
5. Update and publish your compatible app: When you’ve finished your testing and made any updates, we recommend publishing your compatible app right away. This helps you deliver a smooth transition to users as they update to Android 10.”