Android Q second beta lands with new Bubbles multitasking feature
The developer preview, which is now live for anyone with a Pixel phone to test, includes a bunch of tweaks and improvements, and a couple consumer-facing features likely to interest you. The first, while technically an under-the-hood feature, helps get apps and games to support foldable phones. This directly affects those of you who want to buy, say, the Galaxy Fold.
Google even has a new Android Q foldable screen emulator so that we can see how apps might look on a foldable phone like the Galaxy Fold.
Next up is a feature called Bubbles, or Google’s solution for better multitasking on a phone. It reminds us of Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads, but this Android Q implementation will be system wide. In an Android Developers blog post, Google provided guidelines for developers to implement the feature, and it’s allowing any app to use the new Bubbles notification.
Bubbles work like this: When an alert is received, a tiny circular notification will appear on your screen for you to tap. For a messaging app, for instance, you’d tap the bubble notification to view a conversation thread or reply without having to launch the entire app. Google suggested developers could use Bubbles for notes, arrival times, and calls, too.
Google will likely release one more Android Q developer preview before Google I/O kicks off in May. Much of what we’ve seen so far are incremental updates and tinkering, rather than major new features. Google will likely show those things while on stage next month.
If you want to download the latest beta, here’s how.