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Android Q Beta 5 is landing today

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Android Q Beta 5 officially lands today. As expected, it doesn’t deliver a ton of changes or new features, representing the first so-called “release candidate” for developers to test their apps against before the final release later this summer. There are a few new tweaks in Beta 5, though.

The corner-in gesture to activate the Assistant (tied to the new animation that was spotted just yesterday) is now official. A new “peek” behavior for the back gesture will better work with apps that use slide-out navigation drawers, as Google revealed earlier. That edge swipe to go back previously conflicted with triggering that menu in many apps.

Google has also stated that it is planning on moving third-party launchers to the old three-button navigation system by default in the near future. (Google claims in Beta 6, though the change was spotted in an early release of Beta 5.) A “post-launch update” will deliver gesture support to third-party launchers, so we might see an update to Q (Android 10.1, maybe?) land later this year. We’ll have more info on precisely what all this means for consumers and developers later.

Developers interested in testing their apps can check out the blog post for more details regarding API changes and recommended features to implement in their apps for Android Q: things like new biometrics and codecs, as well as Dark Theme and gesture navigation support. Consumers interested in trying things out early are encouraged to read the Release Notes for known issues with Beta 5, including some Location permission oddities, odd behavior with dark mode, WebView issues, and an Android Enterprise bug.

System image downloads for manual flashing are available, and OTA downloads for sideloading have also been posted. Those that didn’t already opt in on the Android Q Beta Program can still enroll their devices, and an update for Q Beta 5 is expected to roll out shortly. We’ll let you know when we see the OTA hit for ourselves.

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