With Google I/O happening during the middle of next month (17th to 19th May), it’s time to turn our attention to what the tech giant has planned on the software front. More specifically mobile, and its latest iteration of Android.
This brings us to the second beta for Android Q, which has now been detailed for developers, and with it brings two key new features that consumers will be interested in.
The first is something that Google is calling Bubbles. No, it has nothing to do with the Powerpuff Girls (don’t ask me why I know that), but is rather a new multitasking tool. Instead of split-screening, which is something that several Android devices tout, Bubbles allows the secondary app to “float” above the primary one in a smaller window.
Google says this will prove quite handy while messaging in a group chat for example, and facilitates quick switching between apps to look up restaurant information, and simultaneously message someone about where to eat for example.
Bubbles can also be used for view ongoing tasks or lists, says Google, with the added ability to handle phone calls, note taking and real-time translation. As such, it should be interesting to see how developers make the most of it.
The other feature has to do with one of the big mobile trends for 2019 – foldable phones. To that end Google has built a foldable emulator for developers to see how their apps run on different types of interface. The one that Google showcases in its beta blog post, has a screen operating in both the folded and unfolded form factor.
The emulator also appears to only be designed for foldable phones that open vertically, like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X. That said, those are the only real mainstream devices on the market at the moment, so horizontally folding phones will have to wait.
While developers get the chance to play around with Android Q, the everyday consumer will have to wait until Google I/O to see what Google has cooked up. Equally important is the name that Google opts for with Android Q, as we’re still holding out for Quality Street.