Android’s new operating system 10 brings a lot of changes — some serious, others fun and one that breaks from tradition. Android has stopped naming its operating systems after desserts. Tap or click here to read more about this tasty tradition. The latest version is simply called “Android 10.”
In the bigger scheme of things, the name is a small change. Android 10 brings with it more accessibility, ease of use and color fun. What it doesn’t bring yet is the new OS to every Android phone out there.
If you’re lucky enough to own a Pixel, you’re already enjoying these great new features. The rest of us will just have to wait until Android gradually rolls out 10 to the multitude of Android brands, but here’s a preview.
1. Hands do more than just hold the phone
Android 10 continues to improve its Gesture Navigation, so it’s now quicker and more intuitive than ever. You can go backward and forwards, pull up the home screen and swipe up to see your open apps, all in super-smooth moves.
Here’s where some of your gestures take you:
- Swipe up from the bottom and you’re back to the home screen.
- Swipe in from the left or right edge and it provides that same functionality that the back button used to.
- Swipe up from bottom and hold for your Recent Apps menu opens.
- Swipe to center from the bottom left and right corner and that opens Google Assistant.
- Swipe horizontally across the bottom and you’ll switch to recently opened apps.
2. Open to everyone
If you’re hard of hearing, Android 10 has introduced an app that will make you smile: the Sound Amplifier. With this feature, your phone can boost sound, filter background noise and fine tune to how you hear best. Whether you’re talking, watching TV or listening to a lecture, all you have to do is plug in your headphones, adjust the boost and fine tuning, as seen in the image above, and you will hear everything more clearly.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, most streaming services offer captions for their videos and YouTube allows families to add captions to home videos. But imagine the wonder of getting captions on live calls.
With Android 10’s Live Caption app, you can get subtitles on anything you play on your phone, but most importantly, this feature is available for phone and video calls.
The Live Caption app allows your phone to generate text based on what it picks up through a built-in speech analyzer. You might have a slight delay before the captions kick in and they may not be perfect, but this is an amazing feature we hope continues to improve in the future.
Related: Hidden features in Android 10 you’re sure to love
3. Is it me or is it hot in here?
You know how your car flashes symbols to tell you it’s time for an oil change or to check your engine? Well, the Android 10 offers something similar. This OS can communicate with apps to let them know things are getting a little dicey for the phone.
Let’s say it’s overheating. Apps will notice and turn themselves down to prevent any damage. Games can lower their graphic settings and apps can lower the speaker volume. Plus, Android 10 will now alert you if the charging port is wet or overheating. This is a very handy and extremely practical feature for those of us who are always on our phones.
4. Just a pop of color
The big news about the Android 10’s aesthetic changes is that it now comes with a system-wide dark mode theme for the first time. Tap or click here to see why people went nuts over it.
But some of us prefer to keep things light and, with Android 10’s help, colorful as well. Just as this is the first time an Android OS comes with a dark mode, the 10 marks a first by letting us change the system accent color.
Here are the steps you need to take to add splashes of colors to your Android 10:
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Scroll down and tap on About Phone.
- Tap on the Android version option.
- Tap on the build number that’s displayed seven times. You will then get a message saying you are now officially a Developer.
- Return to the main Settings menu.
- Tap on System.
- Tap on the Advanced option on the menu.
- Tap on Developer options.
- Scroll down and tap Accent color.
- You should see a selection of several colors. Tap the one you want and your accent color will change.
You can choose between eight colors for different icons: blue (default), cinnamon, black, green, ocean (a different shade of blue), space, orchid and purple.
5. Waiting for bubbles
This feature is ready to go in Android 10, but so far there aren’t any apps to support it. We’re talking about Bubbles, which will act as chat heads like on Facebook. Bubbles will work with all types of messaging apps once they start rolling out.
The way it will work is if someone calls you, their contact image will appear in a bubble that will move along with you as you do multiple tasks.
As we stated earlier, these features are only available on Pixel phones. Eventually, they will be rolled-out to other Android models. If you own a Samsung Galaxy, which makes up the largest percentage of Android phones, you’ll probably have the longest wait as the company seems to be in no hurry to introduce Android 10.
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