Android 10 is the first Android release without a desert name. But this does not prevent Google from adding many new features of Android 10.
This Android 10 guide explains the top 10 new features you can enjoy on your Android phones with Android 10 update. These new features include the dark mode, Live Caption, new navigation gestures, all sensors off, critical update from Google directly, focus mode, emergency button, privacy control, location access controls, and WiFi sharing.
Dark mode: the best Android 10 new feature
The dark mode is not new.
In Android Pie (Android 9), Google added the dark mode (dark theme). But it is only system-wide.
For example, the Settings page in Android Pie is still always white even you enable the dark mode on the phone.
As a new feature of Android 10, Dark mode is now system-wide, and Google leaves no stone unturned.
All system pages, including the Settings page, will use the dark theme once you enable the dark mode on Android 10.
You can enable/disable dark mode from Settings — Display — Display– Dark theme on Android 10.
By default, Google also added a quick setting button for the dark mode as shown below.
The Live Caption can automagically caption any videos, podcasts, and audio messages with one tap.
Internet connection is not needed. Everything will be done locally on the phone.
So, many users think the Live Caption is one of the most practical new features in Android 10.
But this feature is not available in Android 10 now. Google said it would be released later, very likely with the release of Pixel 4.
Pixel phones will first get this feature through a firmware update. Other Android phones will get this feature early next year through Google’s udpate.
Android 10 now allows you to eliminate the navigation buttons.
In Android Pie, you still have the Home and Back buttons when using the navigation gestures as explained in detail in this guide.
In Android 10, Home, Back, and Recents (Overview) buttons are all gone if you choose to use the new navigation gestures.
Probably navigation gesture is one of the most controversial new features of Android 10.
Anyway, if you choose to use “full” navigation gestures on Android 10, you need to know these Android 10 navigation gestures:
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to Home screen. If you are already on the Home screen, swipe up will bring you to the Apps screen (app drawer).
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to access notifications.
- Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to access the quick settings.
- Swipe left from the right edge of the screen to the previous screen (same as the Back button).
- Swipe right from the left edge of the screen to previous screen (same as swiping left from the right edge).
- Swipe at an angle to the right from the left edge of the screen to open navigation menu (Hamburger menu) if the app has one.
- Hold and swipe right from the left edge of the screen to open navigation menu (Hamburger menu) if the app has one.
Please note, all Android navigation gestures start from the edge of the screen. Inside the individual app, app developers can implement their own gestures.
If you are not a fan of these Apple-style navigation gestures, you can choose to use the 3 navigation buttons as in old Android prior to Android Pie, or two navigation buttons as in Android Pie.
You can change the Android 10 navigation gesture in Settings — System —Gestures — System navigation, as shown in the screenshot below.
Turn off all sensors (developer options)
On Android 10, you can turn off all sensors in one tap.
This feature is hidden in the developer options. You need to enable it in the developer options first.
Once enabled it in quick settings developer tiles, you can find the button in quick settings as shown earlier (together with the dark mode button).
Play services will deliver the critical update
From Android 10, Google starts to deliver some critical security and privacy updates to your phone directly through Play services.
You do not need to wait for months for the manufacturer to patch your phone.
Of course, this is limited to critical security and privacy update, not feature update.
Anyway, this is one of the most welcomed new features of Android 10.
Android Pie introduced the Digital Wellbeing to help you maintain a good habit of using the phone effectively.
In Android 10, Google added the focus mode under Digital Wellbeing so that you can pause distracting apps when you need to be focused.
You can input the emergency contact info and medial information so that later such info can be useful and even may save lives in critical moments.
You can access the emergency button in the power menu. Just hold the power button for more than 2 seconds, you will see the Emergency button, below the screenshot button.
The emergency info can also be used in the lock screen.
Privacy becomes a major concern for many phone owners.
In Android 10, Google added a dedicated section for you to check and control your privacy. for example:
- Discover and manage permissions for any apps.
- Check and manage location history.
- Check and manage notification on the lock screen.
- Check Ads settings and Google account settings.
- Pause web and app activity tracking.
Anyway, it is good to see Google is serious about your privacy concerns.
Location access control: the Android 10 new feature you will surely use
Android 10 lets you to check, assign, and revoke location access for all apps in one centralized location.
For each app, you can assign the location access as:
- Allow on when you are using the app.
- Allow always.
Some users are not comfortable to tell guests the WiFi password or special settings in the WiFi network.
Also, for some users, it is not easy to set up a new connection on their device.
Android 10 solves this issue by a QR code. You can share your WiFi network info as a QR code. Another device can just scan the QR code to finish the setup.
Please note, this is a convenience feature, not a security feature. When you share the QR code, your friends will definitely know the password if they dig into the WiFi settings on their devices.
What do you think about the new features of Android 10?
If you want to share your thoughts on new features of Android 10, or if you have any questions on Android 10, please let us know in the comments section below.
If you are still on other versions of Android, you may check these guides:
- For Android Pie (Android 9), please check the Android Pie guides page.
- For Android Oreo (Android 8.0 and 8.1), please check the Android Oreo guides page.
- For Android Nougat (Android 7.0 and 7.1), please check the Android Nougat guides page.
- For Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0), please check the Android Marshmallow guide page.
- For Android Lollipop (Android 5.0 and 5.1), please check the Android Lollipop guide page.
- For other general Android questions or problems, please check the Android 101 page.
Enjoy Android 10!