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Android 10 On Android TV

Android 10 is out and Google has kept its promise as of this September announcing Android 10 on Android TV until the end of the year. After taking a while for Android 9 Pie in order to arrive also on Android TV devices, this time Google delivered in time the latest version of Android. As Android TV becomes day by day more popular so is Google’s plans for the platform.

“When Android TV was first introduced in 2014, we set out to bring the best of Android into the connected home on the TV,” Google wrote in their Android TV OS blog post. “We worked closely with the developer community to grow our content and app ecosystem and bring users the content they want. Since then, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with OEM and operator partners as well as consumer adoption worldwide.”

Nexus Player Evolution – The ADT-3

To make sure developers have the ability to build and test Android TV app implementations on Android 10 prior to rollout, Google introduced a new, developer-focused streaming media device called ADT-3.

With a quad-core A53, 2GB of DDR3 memory and 4Kp60 HDR HDMI 2.1 output, Google designed this pre-certified TV dongle with updates and security patches to help developers design for the next generation of Android TV devices. That is extremely helpful for third-party manufacturers like Nvidia, Xiaomi, Sony, etc but also for app developers. But do not expect to be able to get one as a consumer. The super small device is only for developers. And as more and more people are wishing for a Pixel TV device, for now the only real device that delivers all the latest updates is still the Nvidia Shield TV.

Android 10 Q Brings Good But Also Bad News

Some great new features are coming with the release of the future version of Android. Android 10 Q is going to introduce some great, new changes for Android going forward, like system-wide dark mode and revamped permissions settings.

The most significant feature confirmed as of today is a system-level “Dark mode” that can be enabled in Display settings and features an “Automatic (based on time of day)” option.  So you can automatically have a white mode during the day and all black for the evening / night. At the moment, Android Pie features a Device theme that updates Quick settings, the launcher, volume panel, and other elements. But in Android Q, enabling “Dark mode” results in those aspects of the UI turning pitch black.

Meanwhile, the previous dark gray theme is now applied to the background of apps like Settings and the default Files app. XDA also noticed a Developer option to “override force-dark” where apps that don’t feature built-in themes switch from white backgrounds to dark gray.

Android Q continues also work on privacy with better Permissions. Significant is how Location access can be limited to “only while the app is in use,” similar to iOS. A new “Permissions usage” page features an infographic that notes “Top permission usage at any time”.

Android 10 Q Brings Good But Also Bad NewsAndroid 10 Q Brings

The App info screen has been redesigned with Material Theme elements like a new row of buttons for uninstalling, force stop, and opening the app. Also is worth mentioning how the notifications section on this screen notes how many were sent “per day” and a sign that Digital Wellbeing is more closely integrated.

Other changes involve the Ambient Display moving the battery indicator to the top-right corner, while new “Time to take action” and “Time to read” settings possibly let users customize heads-up notifications.

Android 10 Q The Bad News

Unfortunately, it’s not all good things coming in Android Q, as new code changes show that network carriers will have more ability to lock your phone down to specific networks via your SIM card. Over the weekend, four commits were posted to various parts of Android’s gerrit source code management, all of them entitled “Carrier restriction enhancements for Android Q.” In them, we see that network carriers will have more fine-grained control over which networks devices will and will not work on.

More specifically, it will be possible to designate a list of “allowed” and “excluded” carriers, essentially a whitelist and a blacklist of what carriers will or won’t work on a particular smartphone. This can be done with a fine-grained detail to even allow blocking virtual carrier networks that run on the same towers as your main carrier.

Restriction changes are also on the way for dual-SIM devices. At the moment, carriers can set individual restrictions for each SIM slot, but with Android Q, carriers will be able to lock out the second slot unless there’s an approved SIM card in the first slot. This SIM lock restriction is applied immediately and will persist through restarting the phone, and even doing a factory reset.

Seems like getting an unlocked smartphone from now on it is the best deal you can make!