Google plans to release Android Q in the third quarter of the year, and the company is one step closer today thanks to the launch of Android Q Beta 5, which also happens to be the first official “release candidate” build.

Update: Google had temporarily paused the rollout after receiving reports of installation problems.

Update 2: The rollout has resumed

That means it’s unlikely Google will add any major new features in the sixth and final beta which will likely be released sometime in the coming weeks.

So what’s new in Android Q Beta 5? Not all that much really, but there are a few changes.

Google says Beta 5 includes some new gestural navigation features including:

  • Swipe from either corner to open Google Assistant.
  • Grab the navigation drawer (in apps that have one) to see a peek to let you know that swiping will open the drawer.
  • If you’re using a custom launcher app, Google will switch users to 3-button navigation by default starting in Beta 6. Google says other issues with custom launchers will be addressed “in a post-launch update” to let “all users switch to gestural navigation.”

New Android Q Beta 5 system images are available for Pixel devices starting today, as well as new OTA update images. And Google has released the official Android Q/API 29 Software Development Kit to help developers get their apps ready for the upcoming release.

While Pixel phones and a handful of other devices (including the Essential PH-1) will likely begin receiving the Android Q update shortly after it goes live, history suggests it could be a while before most phone makers bring the updates to other models. But it’s likely that new phones that start shipping in late 2019 and early 2020 will come with Android Q pre-installed.

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