Google Releases Android Q Replete New Privacy Features

Tech giant, Google has released the Beta version of Android Q, the latest version of the company’s mobile operating system, equipped with a truckload of new security enhancements and privacy features.

The company made the announcement in a blog post when it disclosed that the new OS was designed to offer Android users more control over installed applications, their permissions, and access. The OS is also meant to offer support for passive authentication like face ID and warnings when a new app is installed.

Google revealed that the new operating system will give users more control over how a mobile app can utilize device location details. With the OS, users can choose between 3 options “While in use”, “All the time” and “Deny”. These options, similar to iOS, will help prevent a mobile app from gaining access to users’ location while it is not in use. 

Before the rollout, Android users simply had to either allow or deny an app’s access to device location; which doesn’t matter whether it is in use or running in the background.

Google also disclosed that the OS will no longer keep track of contacts affinity detail. In hindsight, apps will not be able to search for user’s contacts. The OS would also help users be more in control of their screens, as it would prevent apps from launching into another activity while running in the background.

Android Q would make it mandatory for apps operating in the background to send a notification to users instead of engaging in an activity without user knowledge.

Also, the beta version would restrict mobile apps from making changes to the device Wi-Fi, requiring them all to use the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission to use methods within the APIs of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Aware.

Google has made the Android Q (the company hasn’t released information on what Q means) is available to the general public as long as they own the Pixel phones: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel XL, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Android Q full version is slated to be released at the before the end of the third quarter of the year.