Android Q Beta 4 Arrives as Play Services and Firebase Prep Move to AndroidX

Google today released Android Q developer Beta 4 with what the company says are the Platform's final APIs and official SDK. This means developers now have the final set of tools they need to code apps for Android Q, which Google will release later this summer. Google also has plans for Google Play Services and Firebase.

Beta 4 includes the latest Android Q system images for Pixel phones and the Android Emulator. It also packs Android Q developer APIs (level 29), the official API 29 SDK, and an updated version of Android Studio with these baked in. Google believes developers now have all they need to build and test apps for Android Q.

Developers who have already enrolled their Pixel devices in the beta program can expect to see Beta 4 hit their phones over the next several days. (Devs can also manually install the latest code if they so choose.) Developers should also take the time to update Android Studio to version 3.4 or the version 3.5 beta

Google was sure to call out Android Q's new privacy and security mandates. The company is making it obvious that it wants app writers on board with the changes sooner rather than later. 

Documentation for Android Q and its many APIs is available here. 

In other Google news, the company announced that the Google Play Services and Firebase SDKs will move away from the Android Support libraries in favor of AndroidX libraries. The company is eyeing a switchover for later this month or early in July. Developers should begin prepping their apps right away. Considering how many apps rely on the Firebase libraries, it is vital that developers make the update along with Google. Google claims this change will improve its SDKs as well as make it easier for developers to use the latest Jetpack features in their apps. 

Only two lines of code should be needed to test Android app Builds against the AndroidX libraries. If the build still works after migrating to the new libraries and inserting the test code, the developer's work is done. This means the app will be compatible with the new Google Play and Firebase SDKs when they arrive later this summer. 

The full release of Android Q is expected to mark its debut in late August.

Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Google Hopes Fresh APIs Goose Interest in Google Pay