Android Q contains many exciting UX enhancements and enhancements, such as Dark Mode but there are also some under-the-hood enhancements that herald the era of 5G phones . The most important of these, we learned at Google IO 2019 are new features for app developers that enable them to determine the download speed and latency of user data as well as the metering of their connections by network operators.
How does that help? With massive download speed improvements from 5G ̵
At Google IO, Bhavin Rokad, Google's leader in Android strategy, TechRadar showed a phone running Android Q Beta 3 on a local 5G network, and loaded an 8K video in just over a second, even after passing through different timestamps. We've found that the device quickly downloads AR animations, as we showed in the keynote. And he explained how the operating system will help developers optimize their apps for 5G.
. 1 Developers Make Apps Seamless with More Data
With Android Q, developers have new APIs that allow them to more accurately determine how much data they can send to a user's device and how much latency they have.
The APIs can help developers determine if their app should load a small 5MB asset or massive 100MB assets on the fly. With more information about connectivity, app developers can create smoother, more immersive experiences and send assets at the right time-something that could improve streaming media in general, but also eliminate many of the problems of online gaming sessions.
. 2 Developers could help users consume less data
These APIs also allow apps to detect whether a user's connection is being measured – for example, if their account can only download data up to a high limit – and send large data packets only if this is appropriate (high connection, unlimited data, enough battery, etc.).
Remember to e-mail or text a photo and ask if you want to send the original or a much smaller file size. In this case, however, the app will make that decision for you. While some of these automated options keep your phone alive longer, others can help limit the consumption of data. This is critical when you reach the end of your contracted monthly cap.
. 3 Visibility of 5G connectivity
Android Q also makes it clearer when users are actually connected to a 5G network. This is a pretty easy advantage, but it should be mentioned how early we are in the 5G race.
And by early we mean that there is almost none. When we tested the first 5G US network in Chicago at the beginning of this year, we were not always able to tell when we accessed the then 5G network, which was available piecemeal.
It's not just about getting these high speeds – it's about knowing when to get them so you can conveniently send this big file or play a data-hungry game without worrying about your connection ,
Carrier, 5G and the Unknown
However, for data flow to the APIs, it is necessary to have some coordination with the operators who must agree to share this information with the developers. Google is still negotiating with carriers to grant this access – not because they want to hold back this information, but because they did not have strong motivation to do so.
Understandably, users will not see these 5G features for a while – especially since the 5G networks themselves have just been launched in very small areas. In the US, the first network went live in April and we found that it has an irregular network coverage in a small area with sometimes high speeds.
US airlines have claimed that their networks will go into operation and expand during the course of 2019, but we & # 39; I'll see how much speed and range they deliver – and how much they'll cost. Verizon initially asked for $ 10 to access its 5G network, but waived to those costs, presumably to encourage adoption (and to balance the price of 5G-enabled phones).
The other question: what types of data restrictions will users have and how much do they have to pay for them? These factors can seriously affect the implementation of these 5G APIs by developers. Do you still need to limit the size of your assets to ensure that users do not consume too much data, or will users simply buy more data?
These unknowns affect how developers create apps that use 5G connectivity, from back-end prioritization to switching options to control data consumption. But until we know how these networks work and how network operators are implementing and leveraging 5G for consumers, it's not clear how developers will use these Android Q features.