Hello Mi Fans,
Want to get an early look at the latest version of Android? Here's how to get the Android Q beta.
Android Q should roll out later this year, but if you can't wait, a beta version is available for download now. Be warned, though. It's probably a little more buggy than the version of the OS you have on your current device and is intended for tech-savvy Android enthusiasts.
Still, Google has now released the third version of its Android Q beta, so while it does not include all the features the finished product will have, its stability has increased and bugs are being fixed. So if you want to poke around, here's how to download the Android Q beta, and what to try first.
What You Will Need: An Eligible Device
Access to the Android Q beta was initially exclusive to Google's line of Pixel phones. If you didn't have one, you were out of luck. Now, however, the beta is available on more than 20 different phones, including the Asus ZenFone 5Z, Essential PH-1, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, LG G8 ThinQ, Nokia 8.1, OnePlus 6T, Oppo Reno, Realme 3 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ3, Tecno Spark 3 Pro, Vivo's X27, NEX S, and NEX A, as well as Xiaomi's Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9.
Before You Continue: Back Up Your Device
Before you upgrade to the Android Q beta, make sure you back up all the data on your phone to Google Drive first. Since this is still an unstable version of the operating system, things can go very wrong during the installation process. Furthermore, if you want to return to using a previous version of Android, you will have to opt back out of the program, which will wipe all your data. Back everything up now to avoid a later disaster.
For this process, we used a Pixel device, but it may work a little differently depending on your specific phone. Navigate to Settings System Advanced Backup and make sure the Back up to Google Drive feature is switched to the on position.
Determine which items you wish to back up—app data, call history, contacts, device settings, and text messages—then tap Back up now to save your data in the cloud. Now if the beta acts up and you need to reset your phone, all the important data will be preserved.
Enroll Your Device
From here, head over to Google's Android beta page and make sure you are logged into the same Google Account that you used to register your eligible phone. Once you are logged into the right account, your device will be automatically listed under the devices section. Click Opt in to sign up for the beta program.
Download the Update
After opting in, go to Settings System Advanced System updates to manually check if you have any updates available. Google says it can take up to 24 hours to receive the download, but we got it in about 20 minutes. When the update arrives, tap the message and initiate the download. It will take several minutes for the beta to fully download, so be patient.
While this is the simplest way to get the beta, developers can also grab it by setting up an Android emulator or flashing it to your device.
What to Try: Turn on Dark Mode
Android Q introduces a UI-wide dark mode that adds a dark theme to the phone's menus and several built-in apps. To turn it on, navigate to Settings Display Theme Dark. Once engaged, you will notice that apps like Photos, Files, Contacts, and Clock will have a black background. However, some Google apps, like Gmail and Chrome, still don't have a dark theme.
Once Dark Mode has been engaged, you can add a quick settings tile to the pull-down menu, which makes it easy to switch dark mode on and off. Just pull down from the top of the screen and tap the pencil icon in the bottom-left corner. Then drag the Dark Theme icon into the menu.
Using dark mode can also save your phone's battery life, so it is now part of Battery Saver Mode. Turn this on by going to Settings Battery Battery Saver and tapping the Turn on now button. If the dark theme has not already been chosen, it will automatically turn on.
What to Try: Activate New Gesture Controls
Android Q introduces gesture controls, which eliminate the traditional three-button navigational system present in most instances of Android and are very similar to those found on iPhone X.
First, turn them on in Settings System Gestures System Navigation Full gestural navigation. While the Google Pixel phone already uses several gestures to begin with, Android Q introduces a few new ones as well:
What to Try: Smart Reply & Suggested Actions
Android Q expands Google's Smart Reply feature to cover any messaging app on your phone. Now Facebook Messenger, Signal, WhatsApp, and a number of other services will be able to offer quick responses and predict what you're trying to say next.
Suggested Actions, meanwhile, will suggest relevant apps to use depending on your current activities. This means you will receive a prompt to open Google Maps if someone sends you an address, or Contacts if it's a phone number.
Coming Soon: Focus Mode
Google will also be adding a new feature to its Digital Wellbeing app that allows you to shut down distracting apps. When activated, Focus Mode will make it so that social media and mobile games can’t be used until you turn it off. While this feature is not present in the current iteration of the beta, you can go to Settings Digital Wellbeing to view other functionality that can be enabled. Focus Mode will likely be accessible here.
Coming Soon: Live Captions
Another major feature that will be introduced in Android Q is Live Captions, which is a huge step for accessibility. It will add captions to videos, songs, podcasts, and even video calls in real time, with or without an internet connection. Basically, if you don't have the sound on but want to watch a YouTube video, Live Captions will allow you to read what is being said.
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