Android 10 has officially rolled out on Google Pixel smartphones, and it comes with major new features such as Dark Theme, improved privacy, and new navigation gestures. But as always, Google has introduced several small new features, which don’t get as much attention. We highlight some key new features of Android 10.
The sounds like a useful one. Android 10 will now sent a notification if it detects moisture or debris in the USB port of your phone. Accessories which require the port will also not function when it detects debris or moisture. This could be very useful if you get soaked in the rain and were wondering if the water got inside the device.
65 new emojis
Android 10 is also adding 65 new emojis, These include gender-inclusive designs for emojis like haircut, weightlifting and sauna. Google has added a man, woman and a gender-neutral emoji for haircut, weightlifting, person pouncing ball, people with bunny ears, and other actions.
Earlier this was limited to just a man and a woman emoji, and there was no gender-neutral emoji. The new emoji will help those who identify as non-binary or those don’t identify as either male or female. Other emojis being added flamingo, deaf person, emoji for a person in a wheelchair, service dog emoji, and emoji of an inter-racial couple holding hands.
In pictures: A look at top 10 features that Android 10 brings
With Android 10, one subtle change is how the battery life is displayed. Swiping down the Quick Settings menu on Pixel 3 XL shows the battery life in days, while the regular view has the percentage. For example it shows 2 days and 11 hours worth of estimated battery life for a Pixel 3 XL review unit, which has Android 10 on it.
This is another new addition to Android 10 adding more organisation to notifications. Users can prioritise notifications by marking them as “silent” or “alerting”. An app’s notification can be marked as silent from Quick Menu itself.
Silent and alerting notifications are separated in the notifications bar, making it easier for the user to pay attention to the important stuff. When a notification is marked as silent, the screen does not light up nor is there is a sound alert. The notification is mentioned as a silent notification in the panel.
New way to access Google Assistant
With Android 10 adding new full screen based gestures, it also brings a new way to access Google Assistant. Of course, you can still continue to say ‘Hey Google’ when needed but you can now drag your finger diagonally from the bottom left or right corner of the screen, and the Assistant appears. The Google colours also light up when the assistant is activated with this gesture.
Easier Sharing Menu
With Android 10 there are improvements to the ‘Sharing Shortcuts’ menu as well. The menu has been completely redesigned. It now shows sharing options in the form of contacts, individual apps, and users will be able directly open an app to share a piece of content such as a link or a file or a photo. The design is much more pleasing.
Android Auto is now built-in. So users can simply plug in their phone into the car’s compatible screen and start using Android on the display. Users no longer need to download the app.
Share WiFi as QR code
Users can now share their Wi-Fi details with guests via a QR code while keeping password secure.
The Dark Theme is one of the most talked about features on Android 10. It switches your phone to a darker mode, which is supposed to reduce eye strain and improve battery life. The good part is that Google has introduced Dark Theme for first-party apps on Pixel like Google Calendar, Google Photos and Google Chrome.
But as we noticed in some apps, you still have to turn on dark theme individually. We had to do this on YouTube. Gmail and Google Play Store don’t appear to have a dark theme yet. In the settings of Google Calendar, you can choose whether you want the system wide theme to be enabled. For example if you want the system theme, the app automatically turns dark when it is applied. But you can individually switch to the dark theme or keep the light theme as well.