No Android Q beta for Samsung Galaxy phones… not yet anyway
In news that will surprise no one, Google’s Android Q beta that goes live today will not be available for any Galaxy phones. Last year, Google teamed up with a few manufacturers to allow non-Pixel smartphones–those that ran stock Android and those that ran customized versions–to test the Android Pie beta, but Samsung made Galaxy owners wait for its own beta program, and it’s going to be doing that this year as well.
Samsung’s Android Q beta program will come at some point
Again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to most folks, even if it may be disappointing to hear. Samsung sells too many phones to offer beta programs as quickly as other manufacturers, and it also needs to make plenty of changes to the core Android experience before allowing its consumers to test a new version of Android. That said, considering how quickly Samsung released the stable Android Pie update for many of its devices, we can hope it will start the Android Q beta program earlier than it did the Android Pie beta program last year.
Despite being the tenth version of the OS, Android Q is a somewhat boring update, with Google focusing on improving features that it launched in stock Android Pie, such as navigation gestures. It also brings a dark theme, which Galaxy phones already have with Android Pie. The most interesting feature seems to be Live Caption, an accessibility feature that gives you subtitles for videos or audio playing in any app on the device, similar to how captions work in YouTube.
Android’s notifications will also be getting some changes, like auto-suggested replies for text messages based on their context. Then there’s native support for foldable devices that Samsung is helping Google with (as the former had announced at its unveiling of the Galaxy Fold), with Android Q bringing features such as the ability for apps to seamlessly switch between mobile and tablet view when a foldable device is unfolded.
Android Q will enable security updates via the Play Store
The one aspect of Android Q that will be of interest to Galaxy smartphone owners is called Project Mainline. Starting with devices that launch with Android Q out of the box, Google will be able to update some critical security components of the OS like it currently updates apps over the Google Play Store. Some security fixes will still need software updates, but serious ones will now reach everyone much faster, although manufacturers will be able to opt out of Project Mainline if they wish.
Whether Samsung will do that remains to be seen. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see what the company’s version of Android Q will offer, especially after everything Android Pie brought to the table, like the beautiful One UI interface and plenty of minor and major new functionality. It will probably be a while before we hear anything about the update from Samsung, though, since it’s still busy delivering Android Pie to many of its devices.