Google released its second Android Q developer preview today for all Pixel phones.
They’re mostly under-the-hood tweaks, but the update also helps get apps and games ready for the first wave of foldable phones, and it brings along Bubbles, Google’s new take on multitasking that looks similar to Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads, which could change how Android looks and works depending on how it’s implemented.
See the animated GIF immediately above? That’s Android Q’s new foldable screen emulator for developers (and us) to see what today’s apps and games might look like on actual foldable phones.
Speaking of actual foldables, the emulator appears to target two rather familiar hardware configurations in particular: a 7.3-inch screen that folds down to 4.6 inches, and an 8-inch screen that folds to 6.6 inches. Those screen dimensions just so happen to match up with the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X.
Meanwhile, Bubbles might end up being a pretty divisive change to Android Q, depending on how it plays out — it’s a twist on multitasking that lets individual apps leave some floating bubbles on top of whatever else you’re doing on the screen.
The idea is that when you get a notification in, say, Messages, you’ll be alerted by a Bubble and a keyboard will pop up so you can type a reply, but it won’t totally obstruct the app you’re using beneath it. More