The newest version of Android OS is finally here. Presenting to you, Android 10! You got that right! Android Q is now officially called Android 10. Bringing a ton of fixes and improvements, Android 10 has brought to the table new ways of securing privacy and customising your phone to get things done ‘just the way you want it’.

As you might have noticed, with the introduction of Android 10, Google has ended the practice of naming major versions (ever since Android 1.5 Cupcake) after popular desserts. Google stated that these names were found to be either difficult to pronounce in certain languages or not internationally well-known. Interestingly, Android VP of Engineering, Dave Burke found the names of desserts starting with the letter ‘Q’ quite exotic. This led to Google shifting to a simpler standard numerical method for naming major Android versions.

Google, for the first time since 2014, has redesigned the Android’s look-and-feel by keeping only the green Android robot’s head accompanied by the Android logo text and removing the robot’s body. Now let’s jump right into the new primary features of Android 10: –

  1. Gesture Navigation:

Android 10 boasts of a fully gestured-method navigation system. Gestures are quicker, smoother and a lot more intuitive. You can now go backwards, forwards, navigate to the home screen and swipe up to open your apps, all with simple gestures.

Our beloved traditional back-button is also going away but Android 10 does allow you to switch back to Android Pie’s three-button array system.

2. System-wide Dark Theme:

After years of waiting, Android has finally given us the dark theme mode which can be easily toggled in the Quick Settings toggle. This changes the way Google apps like Calendar and Photos look. It aims to keep your phone’s battery alive longer while comforting your eyes with a dark theme.

3. Sound Amplifier

Available now for Android devices running Android 6.0 or above, Sound Amplifier is an accessibility app, designed using Machine Learning, that helps people with hearing disabilities listen to important sounds around them more clearly. By plugging in your headphones and running this app, your phone can filter out background noise, boost the sound and fine-tune what you want to hear.

4. Live Caption

You can now, with a single tap, automatically caption videos, podcasts, audio messages and just about any kind of media playing on your device in real-time! The mind-blowing fact is that this happens locally on the device and doesn’t require any kind of internet connection!

More Privacy Controls

With Android 10, you are in complete control of your privacy. New features for app permissions have been implemented to give you control over what exactly the apps on your phone have access to. You can now control when your location is shared with apps: either never, or all the time, or only when in use.

Smart Reply

Another interesting feature is Smart Reply with notifications which uses Machine Learning to give you a variety of recommended actions along with suggested responses to the messages received as notifications. You can now take action as and when you reply.

Focus Mode

To improve digital wellbeing, Focus Mode allows you to focus on what is in front of you and provide you with an option to block notifications that you find distracting. It is now in beta and allows you to pause apps temporarily with a single tap!

Apart from these features, there are a lot of new inclusions such as new theming options, an improved and faster sharing menu, silent notifications, direct Bluetooth streaming to hearing aids, and the newest game-changing devices (5G and Foldables) that are only available on Android.

Android 10’s final build was released on September 3, 2019, and is currently available for the Essential Phone and Google Pixel device-users. For the rest of us, we will have to wait a bit longer to explore several other minute features hidden inside this new OS, once it is optimized for our devices.