Google has introduced us to its latest flavor of Android, which will be known as Android Q until the tech giant picks a dessert starting with the said letter. This is a major update for Android from Google’s perspective as it focuses on refining the Pie experience while laying more focus on user privacy and security.
This time around as well Google has baked a number of feature flags in Android Q to give users access to features that are currently under development. Well, we have been toying around with the flags for a while now and here are all the hidden features we found to be really interesting:
Android Q Hidden Features
Note: We tested out all these features on the Pixel 2, running Android 10 Q Beta 1 (build number QPP1.190205.018.B4)
1. Native Screen Recorder
We’ve been begging Google to give us a screen recording feature for ages, and while the company has worked on in the past, this is the first time you can actually try it out. Yeah, screen recording isn’t enabled by default but Android Q allows you to record your screen simply by flipping the switch on a feature flag in the developer options setting page.
If you want to try out the screen recording feature on your Pixel, you can check out our guide to enable screen recording in Android Q.
2. Seamless Transfer
As compared to Android 9 Pie, Google has now made double the number of feature flags available in Android Q and one of them is the super handy ‘seamless transfer’ feature. It adds a musical note icon to the notification of whatever app is playing music. Tapping on this icon opens up a pop-up at the bottom and lets you switch between audio output sources on the fly.
This feature could be really useful when you’re listening to a track and want to extend a taste of it to your friend as well, so you can switch to the speakers using this feature. It simply requires you to toggle the ‘settings_seamless_transfer’ feature flag in the developer options menu.
3. Force Desktop Mode
Move aside, Samsung DeX. Android is finally getting ready to embrace the PC experience life with Android Q and for the first time introduces an option to switch to a ‘desktop mode’ in the developer settings. This means you may soon be able to turn your phone into a PC and enjoy a wholesome experience – free from the tragedy that’s folding phones.
You will find the ‘force desktop mode’ toggle buried in the developer options, however, it doesn’t work in its current state.
4. Freeform Windows
Android first introduced freeform window mode with Nougat back in 2017. It was hidden away and you need adb to use the feature, but Android Q now has a dedicated developer option to enable the same. It works quite well (on the Pixel 3 XL and not the Pixel 2) but you can currently have ‘only’ a single freeform window open on your homescreen. Opening another freeform window closes the one that’s already open and takes its place.
Freeform windows will be pretty useful in the desktop mode, so if you wanna enable the same – you just need to look for the “Enable freeform windows” option under the ‘Apps’ section in the developer options menu.
5. Dark Mode
One of the most exciting and my favorite features of Android Q is the system-wide dark theme. It’s not enabled by default, nor is there any dedicated option to enable the same in the settings. Any mention of the dark mode has been removed from this Android version because Google wants to boast about on stage at I/O 2019.
However, there are a couple of ways (one really simple and other a little tricky) to enable the dark theme and see how your device would look. And I bet you, it looks awesome but Google still needs to iron out some kinks and streamline their utilisation. We have a dedicated article on how to enable dark mode in Android Q that you can check out.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Android Q Features
These are Features We’re Really Excited For
While there a bunch of other interesting feature flags available in the developer options setting menu, like safety hub and dynamic homepage, but it’s just the aforementioned ones that we’ve managed to spot and get working. All of these features are pretty cool, which is the reason I would love for Google to work rigorously and flesh them out.
Which of these features are you most excited about? Have you stumbled on any hidden features that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
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