After so much anticipation, Google has finally launched Android 10, the newest version of the operating system that is used by most smartphones around the world. Aside from ditching its traditional desert-themed names and settling to a more subtle “Android 10,” Google promises that the new Android will give users more control over their security and data privacy.
In a blog post today, Google announced that Android 10 is already available for smartphones that support its newest Android version, mostly on the tech giant’s smartphone venture, Pixel. However, amid criticism from the tech community that the new version of the operating system does not offer something new aside from some cosmetic improvements, Google made promises on the new Android that focuses on privacy and how users can control their data in their devices.
“With this release, we focused on making your everyday life easier with features powered by on-device machine learning, as well as supporting new technologies like Foldables and 5G. At the same time, with almost 50 changes related to privacy and security, Android 10 gives you greater protection, transparency, and control over your data,” reads the blog post penned by Google VP of Engineering, Dave Burke.
The San Francisco tech superpower said that Android 10 would allow their users to control how they share their location data to an app. For one, a user would be able to decide if they want to share their location data to an app while they are using them.
There would also be a feature that would send a user a notification when a passive app which was not used for quite some time access user information out of the blue — with which the user can also decide whether to continue sharing the information to the app or not.
In a time where consumer data has been a center of regulatory discourse within the tech industry and advertising plays a vital role in these conversations, Android 10 would also allow users to control Web & App Activity and Ad Settings in one place.
Furthermore, as part of Google’s commitment and promise to improve the security and privacy of their users, they said that all system fixes and bug patches will now be sent to the users through the Google Play Store, similar to how apps are updated. This means that users will now be able to download minimal updates to the operating system at the moment that they are available without waiting for a full OS update.
Together with its improved security and privacy, Google also promises to make Android 10 “simpler, smarter, and more helpful.” Of all the new features that the updated operating system is going to implement, the talk of the town points to its in-OS dark mode capacity.
Dark Mode has since been expected to come in Android 10, and Google did not disappoint. The new Dark Theme, which has the option to be applied for the entire phone or for specific apps only, has been requested by users as it is proven to save the battery life. As Google said in their blog post, the Dark Theme is “easier on your eyes, and your phone battery too.”
Another feature to look forward in the Android 10 OS is the inclusion of the “Smart Reply” capability that works in a wide variety of messaging apps. Smart Reply functionality allows users to directly open links, addresses, and videos sent through a messaging application. For example, clicking an address sent through SMS will directly open Google Map to point out where the address exactly is.
“So when someone sends you a message with an address or a YouTube video, you can open and navigate in Google Maps or open up the video in YouTube—no copying and pasting required,” Google said.
Other features in the Android 10 OS includes gesture navigation and live caption system that automatically captions videos, podcasts, and audio messages across any app.