The second beta of Android Q is rolling out to developers containing a number of notable features that weren't on the previous release. Though most of the additions are merely performance or aesthetic tweaks, two stand out: multitasking Bubbles and a design overhaul to accommodate foldable phones.
Tech Times previously reported that Google was testing a new way of showing and interacting with notifications that looked and functioned similarly to Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads. It's got a name now — Bubbles.
Android Q Bubbles
If it's added to the final, stable Android Q release, Bubbles may just radically change how people use Android. Whereas the way multitasking currently works is by shuffling through "cards," Bubbles lets individual apps float onscreen as Chat Heads-like popups. The idea is that when a person gets a notification, it'll popup as a bubble so they can reply, but it won't completely obstruct the app underneath.
It's a genius solution because it's not new — most Android apps already do the same thing, most notably Messenger's Chat Heads. That means if it's implemented, there'd be no learning curve at all. Plus, Bubbles isn't limited to Messages. Google says it can give users a "convenient view over ongoing tasks and updates, like phone calls or arrival times. They can provide quick access to portable UI like notes or translations, and can be visual reminders of tasks too."
Android Q Foldable Phones
Aside from Bubbles, Android also adds a new foldable screen emulator for developers to see how apps and games might look like when they're running on, say, a Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X. There's not much to say here, but it's clear Google is future-proofing Android in case foldable phones become widespread.
Android Q Beta 2: Other Tweaks
The second Android Q beta also now shows a quick preview of what a user will share on social media before they publish it. It's a small yet incredibly important addition that will help prevent accidentally posting embarrassing photos online.
For a detailed list of all the changes, check out the latest update on the Android Developers Blog.