Google has released the first preview of Android Q.

We expected the preview to arrive soon, as it's becoming an annual tradition for the company to release a developer beta of its next version of Android in early March. Doing so provides a good look at the software, but it's meant for developers only. The features included will not affect general users until way later, but Google has said the update will bring things like improved privacy controls and native support for foldable phones.

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There will be a new privacy setting for location access, for instance, allowing users to restrict apps so that they only access information while in use (rather than carte blanche access to user location data). Google is also including limits on the access apps will have to photos, videos, audio, and downloaded files on devices. Android Q will also have more control over how apps resume and pause when running in the background.

Another cool feature is a new Settings Panel API that'll let developers push a pop-menu for settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC, so users won't have to exit apps to go to settings and back. Lastly, one major change will be total support for foldable phones, which Google first promised us this past November. We can also expect changes to how apps resize for split-screen modes, which is likely part of this better support foldables. 

Android Q image 2

There's many more features presumably included in the preview. We're combing our way through the details and we'll update you when we know more. To be clear, we're learning that this Android Q preview is launching sometime on 13 March for all Pixel device owners, including the original Pixels. That means it's fully available to anyone who wants to sign up, though we honestly recommend waiting to test it on your primary device. 

Those of you who are willing to deal with the inevitable bugs can enroll in the Android Beta program here. (It'll be live soon, so keep refreshing.) If you are a developer who wants to go the technical route (i.e., download the factory images and flash them to a compatible device), go here. 

As for Android Q's official name, we still have no clue. Any guesses?