Right on point, Google has started rolling out Android 10 to its Pixel smartphones. This was highly expected as last month Google announced a change in the naming scheme of Android, moving away from the desert-based theme, to a numeral system marking the 10th anniversary of the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. Now that this OS has been dropped, pretty much a month before Apple releases iOS 13 to the mass market, let’s take a look at some of the key salient features of Android 10 and how it will transform the core Android experience for existing users.
- The core user-interface of the Android remains the same, but Google has now added a system-wide dark mode which has been there on certain Android phones and now is also coming to iOS 13. This will make using phones without dark mode more pleasant. Like the OnePlus Oxygen OS, Google has also added some theming options based on colour palettes in the core Android experience.
- The gesture system of Android 10 has been overhauled from the god-awful peaking system to a mechanism that mimics the iPhone. This will not only make Android familiar to iPhone users but also make things easier for existing users of Android One devices and Pixel smartphones.
- Updates are going to come faster than ever to devices. OnePlus is in an advanced beta stage for its Android 10 build, while in China Xiaomi has already released a version of MiUI for the K20 Pro based on Android 10. Google has made some architectural changes to Android so as to push some major system updates via the Play Store which will allow manufacturers to modify their builds of Android faster to Android 10 spec which ensure the fastest ever deployment of an Android update.
- Privacy is a huge part of Android 10. In light of many privacy-related scandals, Google’s Android 10 provides more granular control to the user. For instance, the permissions setting page has been retooled. Apps will specifically ask for location information and generally, everything will be in the hand of the user.
- There is a live caption feature that Google announced which is coming to the market. This will come later in the year. It is a big accessibility feature for people who are either deaf or hard of hearing. This will give them live transcription of what’s being said on the screen — be it a game, a video, a conference call or whatnot. The best part, it will be done on-device which is great for privacy and bandwidth as it wouldn’t be dependent on the internet.