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10 things you need to know in tech today

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Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Thursday, March 14, 2019 – Pi day!

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1. Android Q released!

Google released the first preview of Android Q for developers yesterday, the upcoming major update of the Android OS powering a few billion apparatus or so.

AA-Android-Q

Those with a Google Pixel device were able to jump onto the Android Q beta first.
Sign-up into the beta here if you’re using a qualified device eg. A Google Pixel, Pixel 2, or Pixel 3 and don’t mind occasional glitches as Android Q smooths out, but it’s not really intended for daily driver use, just FYI.

What’s new?

Google announced Android Q on its Developers Blog with a focus on privacy and security, plus a range of enhancements for foldables, new media codecs and camera features, and a range of new APIs, sound and video codecs, and more.
Android Q delivers new features for developers to utilize for their programs, in addition to a lot of smaller useful and interesting changes for users right now (detailed below).
A lot of the Google announcement aims developers, discussing new methods and courses, such as for foldable devices.
There are also elements such as customizable Wi-Fi performance modes, to operate on lower latency connections with flexible Wi-Fi.
Sharing shortcuts will then be much faster with the share sheet enhanced, and it is a big one considering the bizarre lag involved with it now.

Changes? What changes?

Lots of the changes announced by Google will take some time to be used by manufacturers like Samsung, in addition to developers of all your favourite apps.
However, some changes are evident as of now.
My colleagues at Android Authority were busy all night documenting new Android Q features and modifications from the previous release.
There’s a whole new privacy section in Settings, which gives better access to program permissions, lock screen content settings, preferred autofill service, location history, and more.
Long-pressing the power button will now display a new ‘Emergency’ icon. Tap this icon and you’ll have quick access to an emergency dialer.
Accent colours and theming options now exist, finally:

Android Q accent colors

There’s an estimated battery life left screen in quick settings:

android-q-estimated-battery-remaining

It’s potential to quickly discuss Wi-Fi login details via QR codes, which bridges the gap slightly to Apple devices that have been doing this well for some time now.
The list of changes is long and more surprises and features are being found all the time as Pixel owners hit each button – even screenshots in Android Q now incorporate the notch, which is unexpected.
There are six Android Q beta versions on Google’s timeline so expect more updates and changes on this Q pathway.

Android Q dessert title problems:

We won’t know the Android Q title for quite a while yet, following the line of desserts like Android KitKat, Android Oreo, and most recently the fairly boring Android Pie.
Android Quik, makes some sense, given Nestle exists in every corner of the earth. Android Quince Jelly? There aren’t a great deal of options.

More: All the Android Q policy you might want, including just in, a secret desktop mode.

2. Facebook and all its services including Instagram and WhatsApp suffered serious worldwide service outages within the last 16 hours or so, and it hasn’t entirely restored yet.

Facebook’s status dash shows partial outages continue.
This was Facebook’s worst outage since 2008.
The majority of the programs still opened, but functionality was restricted based on geo-location, program, and API call.
On desktop, Facebook messenger didn’t work but the program could be used to send messages.
WhatsApp messages would also send, but uploading images and audio had errors.
Signing in to programs like Spotify via a Facebook login wasn’t possible, either.
A Facebook spokesman told Bloomberg that it was “contemplating the possibility of refunds for advertisers”.
Facebook’s outage hurts everybody else who uses it also: businesses big and small, content and media creators, and spare a thought for men and women who organized events solely on Facebook on the day, also.
(And spare a thought for my Dad who apparently couldn’t play with his beloved mobile game.)
No explanation from Facebook at the time of writing, although it did confirm it was not a DDoS attack (BBC).
Bonus: Facebook’s data deals are under criminal investigation (NY Times). Not a great day over in Menlo Park.

3. Gary Sims has a movie for Pi afternoon: Nilakantha’s Infinite Series (YouTube). Math is fun, trust!

4. On this note, Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee from Japan, calculated pi even farther: currently out to 31 trillion digits, up from 22 trillion (BBC).

5. Google has quietly added DuckDuckGo for a search engine option for Chrome users in ~60 markets (TechCrunch).

6. Five things Tesla should show at tonight’s Model Y event (CNET). (8pm PDT)

7. The same Stone Age symbols crop up in temples all over the world. But what do they mean? (Kottke)

8. Australian man blocks arrow using a smartphone (The Guardian).

9. Stardew Valley is currently out: Tips and tricks including how to transfer PC save to cellular (AA).

10. A three-day expedition to walk across Paris underground (Longreads).

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