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Android Q First Beta Is Out. For “Pixel Devices”

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Bytes: The wait is finally over—OTA files and factory images are going live for the first public Android Q beta. If you’re the lucky owner of a Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Pixel 3, or Google Pixel 3 XL (yes – all three Pixel generations are being supported), then you have the opportunity to test the next major Android version right now by either flashing the update manually or enrolling in the beta and receiving the update over the air. Android 10 Q brings a number of new feature additions including a system-wide dark mode and a to revamp in permission management. The first beta release is available today while the final release is expected to land in early August.

Keep in mind that this first preview is aimed at developers. Google gives developers the chance to test their apps against new Android platform APIs months before the next Android version becomes available for the general public. This first release won’t have all the new software features you’ll come to associate with Android Q. Google will likely unveil a bunch of new features at Google I/O 2019 which starts May 7th. We’ll, of course, be extensively covering Android Q, because we know our readers can’t wait to get their hands on an official release or a custom ROM. For now, though, Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 3 users can enjoy the release before anyone else.

Download Android Q Beta 1 for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, or Pixel 3 XL

You can download the OTA image files to directly update from the latest March 2019 security patch release for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL. If you have an unlocked bootloader and have modified the boot image to install TWRP or Magisk, you’ll need to flash the factory image file. General instructions on how to do so can be found in the next section.

Device OTA Factory Image
Google Pixel PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205
Google Pixel XL PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205
Google Pixel 2 PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205
Google Pixel 2 XL PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205
Google Pixel 3 PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205
Google Pixel 3 XL PQ2A.190305.002 -> QPP1.190205 QPP1.190205

If you install the update and notice something new that we haven’t already found, send us a tip and you could get a free month of XDA Ad-Free if we write an article based on your tip! Also if you install the update, be sure to check out the feedback and bug report page. Google is also monitoring a new subreddit on Reddit for feedback.

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How to install Android Q Beta 1 on the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, or Pixel 3 XL

If your device is rooted or you’ve made any changes to the system or vendor partitions, you’ll need to install Android Q using a factory image. If you haven’t unlocked the bootloader yet and are on the latest Android Prerelease, then you can sideload the OTA to save some time. 

OTA Image

  1. Download the right OTA file for your device from the table above.
  2. With your phone booted into Android and plugged into your PC, open a command prompt or terminal window in the same directory where you stored the ADB binary.
  3. Enter the following command to enter recovery mode:
    Windows Command Prompt: adb reboot recovery
    Windows PowerShell: .\adb reboot recovery
    macOS/Linux terminal: ./adb reboot recovery
  4. Once in recovery mode, select “apply update from ADB.”
  5. Enter the following command to sideload the Android Q OTA update file:
    Windows Command Prompt: adb sideload ota_file.zip
    Windows PowerShell: .\adb sideload ota_file.zip
    macOS/Linux terminal: ./adb sideload ota_file.zip
    where “ota_file.zip” is the name of the OTA file you downloaded in step 1.
  6. Reboot the phone by choosing the “reboot system now” option.

Factory Image

  1. Download the Android Q factory image for your device from one of the links in the table above.
  2. Extract the factory image file.
  3. In the folder, you’ll see a bootloader image, a radio image, a zip file, one Windows batch file, and two .sh script files. If you don’t care about wiping all your data and just want to update right away, then go ahead and double click on flash-all.bat if you’re on Windows or flash-all.sh if you’re on macOS/Linux (after making it executable).
  4. If you want to flash the factory image without wiping your data, then edit the flash-all.bat script (Windows) or flash-all.sh script (macOS/Linux) in a text editor and remove the “-w” command from the “fastboot -w update” line. Then, you can proceed to start the flash-all script.

The best early features

Take control of your location data: It used to be that apps had all-or-nothing access to your location. If approved, they’d be able to access it even when that app wasn’t being used. Google is now rectifying this with a new option that will let you set location privileges for only when an app is in the foreground. (Google notes that some apps will still be able to access your location after you hit the home button or turn off the display.)

Dark mode… sort of Google is clearly preparing a system-level dark mode for Android Q, and it’s technically available in this first beta. But it can be tricky to access, and for now, there’s no simple on or off switch. The easy method to test out dark mode is enabling battery saver mode, which turns a lot of the system’s white backgrounds to black. But battery saver also does other things to prolong your phone’s charge (like cutting off background processes), so this isn’t really a great thing to have running at all times.

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The right settings when you need them: When an app detects that it’s unable to access something it needs — a data connection, Bluetooth, etc. — it can now automatically bring up a menu that asks you to toggle that specific setting on. No trip to the full-blown settings menu required.

Quickly see an estimate for remaining battery life: When you pull down the quick settings menu in Android Q, the battery percentage icon will switch over to an estimate for the amount of time you’ve got left on that charge. This can obviously change quickly depending on how you use your phone — my Pixel 3 XL never lasts two days — so while it’s not necessarily a thing you’ll want to rely on, it’s at least a convenient reference.

Google’s Product Sans font is now everywhere: The default system-wide font on Pixel phones is now Google’s own Product Sans. The typeface has been steadily appearing in more and more places and was already prominent in Android 9 Pie, but now it’s basically everywhere.

More UX and theme customization: If you dig into developer settings, you’ll be able to change the accent color used across the Android OS (there are four to choose from) and the default font. It’s not quite at OnePlus levels of theming, but it’s good to see Google making progress.

The notch is in screenshots: For some reason, Google has chosen to add a visual representation of the Pixel 3 XL’s notch to screenshots — seemingly without any way to disable this option. Whether the notch stamp is intentional or a mistake, hopefully, Google will at least give users the choice to turn it off.

A faster sharing sheet: With Q, Google has gotten rid of the lag that had begun to plague Android’s sharing menu. Now, developers can just specify their preferred sharing methods instead of the system building out a giant list of apps every time you want to transfer something between apps.

There’s an emergency button in the power menu: Making emergency services easier and faster to access is always a smart idea, so Google has put a new emergency tile right in the main power menu that appears when you press and hold the Pixel’s power button.

Share Wi-Fi details from QR codes: The first beta of Q has a clever trick that allows you to share a Wi-Fi network’s credentials in the form of a QR code. I guess that beats reading your secure password aloud whenever new people come over — for your tech-savvy friends, at least. They can then scan the QR code to hop onto the Wi-Fi immediately.

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Nazrul Islam

Nazrul Islam - Programmer, Developer, Coder, Entrepreneur, Web Designer....CEO & Founder HackingSaga Media Pvt. Ltd

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