Android 10 – What to expect on your Android phone in the coming months
On September 3, the public version of Android 10 launched, immediately compatible with all Pixel phones. With the first beta having dropped six months prior, we’ve had lots of time to learn about the new features coming with the update.
Now that it’s actually here, we’ve gotten to measure the functionality, the positives, and the negatives.
We’ve compiled it into one quick list. Here are our top ten things to know about Android 10, and what you can expect in the coming months.
1. Android’s New Look
With the new update comes a pretty noticeable rebrand. For one, Android 10 is the first update not named after a dessert. Given that Pixel devices are used by people on an international scale, this was probably a good move.
There have also been some changes to the logo, and the little robot mascot, who has tragically lost his body and is now a floating head. That being said, beyond the new look, operations are pretty business as usual for Android.
2. Family Link
The family link feature for Android 10 is really cool and super convenient for households with more than one Android device. With family link, parents can access more complex settings, all of which function to develop healthy habits and ground rules about technology. Here are a few examples:
- Restrict inappropriate content
- Enact screen time limits
- View app activity
3. Updated Privacy Settings
A major feature of the Android 10 is the significant expansions on privacy and security. There are several settings you’ll now be able to control with ease from just one screen. These include:
- What data is stored (web activity, app activity, etc.)
- Ability to outright prohibit location sharing with apps
- The option to opt-out of ad personalisation
This is a welcome change, of course. Ever feel creeped out when your Facebook ads are tailored to your Google searches from ten minutes ago? The ability to never get that shiver again is almost enough reason to love Android 10 in itself.
4. Live Closed Captions
Closed captions are an incredibly important accessibility feature that all companies in this industry should take seriously. Whether someone is watching a YouTube video, playing a podcast, opening an audio message, or playing Candy Crush, they should be able to access accurate closed captions. In what is perhaps Android 10’s best new feature, they’re going beyond the industry standard.
Android 10’s Live Caption (which can be turned on in the accessibility settings) provides users with real-time captions, with no internet connection required. This feature is innovative, and will hopefully lead the way to a new standard in the industry for accessibility.
5. Accent Colors
One of the most fun features in the Android 10 update is being able to select your accent colour! Since you have to look at your phone’s accent colour all the time, you might as well get to choose it. If you like the classic blue, you can keep it, but if you’re looking for a fresh look, here are your new options (and their cute names):
6. Dark Theme
Android 10 finally brings about the long-awaited dark theme. Do you ever find your eyes get sore just staring at your glaring white screen? Even on low brightness, the standard screen can be a bit intense for some people. Dark theme is easy on the eyes, and good for your battery.
That’s right! Not only does it look good, but dark theme on Android 10 actually saves you battery power. Now, not all apps have completely adapted to this new feature, but that appears just to be a matter of time. Either way, for those who much prefer the darker screen, Android 10’s dark theme does the job.
7. Gesture Navigation
Gesture navigation on our phones is something people tend not to think about. You don’t tend to notice just how good functional gesture navigation is until you get it, and thankfully, Android 10 nailed it.
By gesture navigation, I’m referring to the way you move around your device, switching from music, to home screen, to lock screen, settings, and so on. The new system will take some practice to learn and get used to, but once you do, you’ll be swiping around your phone seamlessly.
8. No More Android Beam
Sorry Android Beam lovers. Android 10 doesn’t have this particular peer sharing feature, and it’s yet to be seen if they’ll have a replacement at some point soon. It’s not entirely unlikely that an alternative will be released soon, but for now, Android 10 users will have to do without.
9. A Sensor Killing Bug
It’s pretty unlikely to have an update launch of this magnitude without there being a few bugs here and there. Unfortunately, this bug is especially irritating. Some people have had their sensors on their Pixel devices messed up after updating to Android 10. As you can imagine, messed up sensors means no auto-rotate, no auto-brightness, and a whole lot of other features that we might take for granted.
Thankfully this bug doesn’t seem to be a common occurrence, though that doesn’t make it any less problematic for those experiencing it. As of right now, it looks like the only way to fix the issue is to go back to your previous version. This unfortunate bug will hopefully be sorted out ASAP.
10. What Happens Next?
Overall, Android 10 is a welcome change to Pixel devices. This update is flawed, beyond even the aforementioned bug and lack of peer sharing for those who enjoyed the Android Beam. That being said, a lot of issues that people have with the update are likely to be worked out in the next few months as feedback is given, and work is put in to smooth out these bugs and glitches.
Android 10 won’t drastically alter your user experience, but with nice features like dark theme, family link, and the live closed caption system, it’s hard to see this update as anything other than a step in the right direction.