Some New Android 10 Features That We Can’t Wait For

Sep 4, 2019 10:42 EDT
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Android 10 is upon us, and it brings forth a host of new features. Some of them are simple QoL changes, while others reimagine the Android user experience entirely. Let's take a look at some features that we look forward to the most.

Security updates via the Play Store AKA Project Mainline

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Dubbed as Project Mainline, Android 10 aims to tackle one of the biggest problems the platform faces to date- fragmentation. Project Mainline will help Android phones get critical and essential updates a lot sooner because none of the changes will require a system update from the phone manufacturer. It takes 12 core components of Android and makes them a little more modular. These components can now be updated through the Play Store and won't require a full system update. OEM/Carrier intervention, will, however, still be necessary for major software upgrades.

Smart Reply in notifications

Smart Reply has been around for quite some time but was limited to certain apps only. Android 10 will bring the feature to most, if not all, instant messaging apps. Android 10 uses on-device ML to suggest contextual actions in notifications, such as smart replies for messages or opening a map for an address in the notification. All the processing is done on-device, so it'll even work when you're offline. Automated replies may seem cold and impersonal, but are better than not replying on time.

Dark Theme

A system-wide Dark Theme, without doubt, is one of the most requested features in the history of Android. There is no reason why it should have taken Google this long to implement it, but we're glad it's here. It is ideal for low light and helps save battery on AMOLED screens. You can build a custom dark theme for your app or let the system create one dynamically from your current theme. Head over to the Theming section where you can change your phone's accent color. The device default is the Pixel blue, but you can change this to Black, Green, Purple, Cinnamon, Ocean, Space and Orchid.

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New privacy and security features

Privacy is a central focus in Android 10, from stronger protections in the platform to new features designed with privacy in mind. Android 10 includes extensive changes to protect their privacy and give users control, with improved system UI, stricter permissions, and restrictions on what data apps can use. Additionally, users have more control over their location data through a new permission option -- they can now allow an app to access location only while the app is in use. Apps can no longer access device identifiers such as IMEI and serial numbers. The device's MAC address is also randomized when connected to Wi-Fi networks by default. Lastly, Android 10 prevents app launches from the background that unexpectedly jump into the foreground and take over from another app.

As a Galaxy Note 10+ user, I'll have to wait till early next year before I can get my hands on Android 10. It'll be interesting to see how Samsung bakes some of these into OneUI 2.0, mainly the Smart Replies part. What Android 10 feature are you looking forward to, let us know in the comments below.

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