After months of beta testing, the final version of Android 10 — previously known as Android 10 Q — is here. It’s the latest and greatest version of Google’s mobile operating system, and while Google has done away with sweet treat names for Android, that’s about the only thing it has removed in Android 10.
Google is rolling the update now to its Pixel phones — including the Pixel 3a range — and several other Android phones from various brands are expected to get the update in the coming days, weeks, and months too.
There are a ton of new features to sink your teeth into if you haven’t been testing the public beta. Notably, the new operating system finally offers a systemwide dark theme (just as Apple’s upcoming iOS 13 also gets a dark mode). The Dark Theme works in most of Android’s stock Google apps, as well as in menus, settings, and so on. It saves your eyes when viewing the screen at night or in the dark, and it’ll save on battery life on OLED displays too. Google said Gmail will be getting a dark theme later this month.
The changes aren’t just visual. Smart Reply can now suggest actions instead of just replies — so if someone sends you an address, it’ll suggest opening the address in Google Maps. It works in various messaging apps, not just ones from Google.
Android 10 also marks a significant shift for Android in terms of system navigation. While previous versions of Android offered gesture navigations controls, they were rudimentary and still relied in some way on Android’s traditional buttons. Android 10 takes things to the next level by getting rid of the persistent back button and home button, forcing you to rely on swipes and other gestures. It’s similar to gestures on iOS. For now, the new gesture controls are not on by default, but that will likely change with the upcoming Google Pixel 4. The traditional Android triple-button system will still be available as an option.
Because of the changes to navigation, accessing Google Assistant now requires a diagonal swipe in from either bottom corner of a device.
Android 10 also places an emphasis on privacy and security, and there are new Privacy and Location hubs in the Settings menu. Now, you can choose to only share location data with apps when you’re using them, similar to location controls on iOS. You’ll also get reminders when an app is using your location in the background, so you can disable the feature if you so choose.
Android 10 brings a whole lot more and we’ve detailed them here in this guide so you can check them all out. If you’re using a Pixel phone, head to Settings > System > Advanced > System update to see if it’s available for you to download.
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