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Android Q Beta 5 Solidifies Final System Behaviors, Release Candidate Is Next

With Android Q developer APIs already finalized, a new Beta 5 release is nailing down system behaviors in advance of final release coming this quarter.

According to the timeline, only one more beta is planned, the Release Candidate.

Beta 5 sports:

  • Updated build tools for Android Studio
  • Final Android Q developer APIs (API level 29)
  • The official API 29 SDK
  • The latest Android Q system images for Pixel and Android jEmulator

Those provide everything that developers need to test apps on Android Q and build with Android Q features, Google said.

Dave Burke, VP of engineering, especially highlighted gestural navigation updates in a July 10 announcement post of Beta 5.

"As we talked about at Google I/O, we’ve been working closely with device-maker partners to ensure a standardized Android gestural navigation for users and developers. Gestural navigation lets apps use the full screen for content while minimizing the visible system chrome and navigation -- which is particularly important on today’s edge-to-edge screens. In Beta 5 we’re continuing to improve and polish based on your feedback and we wanted to provide an update on a few key areas."

He noted the inclusion of a swipe gesture from either corner to get to the Assistant, a peek behavior for when users grab the navigation drawer to indicate that a swipe will bring in the navigation drawer, and custom launcher enhancements to come.

"Starting in Beta 6, we’ll switch users to 3-button navigation when they are using a custom launcher by default," Burke said. "We’ll address the remaining issues in a post-launch update allowing all users to switch to gestural navigation."

Google previously provided a recap of recent developments in the Android space, focusing on the three main themes of innovation, security/privacy and digital wellbeing:

  • 5G network connectivity
  • Foldable phones
  • Edge-to-edge screens
  • Prioritizing the Kotlin programming language
  • Jetpack expansion (libraries, tools and guides to help make app building quick and easy)
  • Jetpack Compose -- a modern reactive-style UI toolkit for Android that takes advantage of Kotlin
  • On-device machine learning and more

Furthermore, just today (July 11), Google provided info on "What’s new for text in Android Q."

"Displaying text is an important task in most apps, so in Android Q we're continuing to introduce new features to support your needs and improve performance," said Florina Muntenescu, Android developer advocate. "We disabled hyphenation by default, enabled creating a typeface using multiple fonts or font families, exposed the list of fonts installed on the device, and improved some of the most-used text styling APIs."

Other recent guidance includes "Capturing Audio in Android Q."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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