Last year Android 9 Pie was rolled out in beta form on handsets from Essential, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Vivo and Xiaomi as well as the Google Pixels, and this year it looks like even more manufacturers will join the Android beta party.
As Android Police reports (opens in new tab), Iliyan Malchev from Google's Project Treble team revealed the move in a discussion on the Android Developers Backstage podcast.
Project Treble is Google's move to make it easier for phone makers to update Android on their devices, separating the actual Android code from the layers that these other companies add on top – which should mean updates get pushed out faster.
- Chrome for Android getting a dark mode
- More folding phones are on the way
- Android is adding extra security features
Malchev doesn't say exactly who else is going to be included in the beta program for Android Q, but as well as the companies we've already listed, it would seem Samsung, HTC, LG and Huawei could be among those included this time around.
Dealing with fragmentation
The most common Android version is still (opens in new tab) Android 6.x Marshmallow, which launched in 2015, and is still running on more than 1 in 5 devices worldwide. That shows you the problems with fragmentation that Android still has.
Adding more phones to the Android Q beta, as well as the ongoing efforts with Project Treble, should help to turn those figures around.
As yet we don't know too much about what Android Q is going to bring with it – Face ID-style logins have been mooted, letting you log into your phone and make purchases using your face, and there's also been talk of a system-wide dark mode.
We should hear much more at the Google IO developers conference 2019, which gets underway on May 7. It's the event where Google usually teases new features for the next version of Android, and provides details of what the beta will involve.