Android 10 for HTC U12 Plus : Release Date and Features
HTC U12 is the last year flagship from the Taiwanese tech giant which sports 6 inch display and runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. The flagship received the Android 9 Pie update not long time ago and the next major update for U12+ is Android 10.
Google released the Android 10 update on September 3rd without any codename. Before the release, the Search giant announced that they have dropped the tradition of naming Android versions with famous desserts. So the tenth anniversary version of Android and subsequent updates too will be called by version numbers only.
Google announced the first beta of Android 10 in March and later released the second beta in April. At I/O 2019 in May, the Search giant dropped the third beta and announced the Android Q beta program for partner devices like One Plus, Xperia XZ3 and LG G8. However, as usual, HTC didn’t participate in the program.
When will U12+ will get Android 10 ?
Based on the previous rollouts, we expect that the the last year flagship from HTC will get the Android 10 update in Q1 or Q2 of 2020. As most of you know, HTC delayed the Pie update for U11+ and U12 until the release of last beta of Android 10 in August, due to the circumstances of HTC and unforeseen technical issues. Earlier, we hear reports that some users received the Pie update in July, 2019 in some regions. However, we hope things will get better with the Android 10 update, because of Project Treble and other refinements.
We will post the official rollout schedule of Android 10 to U12+ for different regions here, as soon as we received from HTC.
What’s New in Android 10 ?
The Tenth anniversary edition of Android comes with many notable features like System-wide dark mode, Full Gesture navigation, Bubbles, Parental Controls, Focus mode, Improved Location sharing options, Project Mainline, Battery saver scheduler and so on. Now we will review some of the key features of Android 10.
System-wide Dark Mode
One of the most requested features of Android is full dark mode and now Google brought it with the tenth anniversary update. Previously, in Android 9 Pie, Google rolledout some dark elements like Quick Settings, Navbar. But on Android 10, users can experience full dark theme, even on third-party apps without enabling dark theme manually in them, as Android automatically enables or changes color using AI processing.
HTC U12 users can enable the dark mode after updating to Android 10 by changing the theme in Settings> Display> Theme or enabling the battery saver. The dark mode not only reduce eye strain but also increase battery life.
Improved Privacy control
In Android 10, Google tightened the location sharing permissions and gives users more granular control over app permissions. Users can head to Settings> Location > App Permissions to check which apps can get Location access. Users can choose the new Location permissions in Allow all the time, Allow only while using or Deny options.
So users can give permission to get location only when the app is running in foreground as default. Restricting the app permissions to location data not only improves privacy but also reduce battery juice consumption.
Full Gesture Navigation
The tenth anniversary iteration of Android came with many improvements to the Gesture navigation which was introduced with Android 9 Pie. The Search giant removed the navbar totally in Android 10, so that users can use all the screen real estate and get a new full-screen experience while plying games, browsing web and so on.
HTC U12 Plus users can customize the back gesture sensitivity by going into the Navigation section in Settings menu. High sensitivity setting can interfere with other Gestures around edges of the display. However, some users may don’t like the new gesture navigation, they can easily revert back old-naviagation style in the Navigation section.
New Notification management
In Android 10, Google introduced a new way to organize and manage notifications which is quite simple and also useful. Ths notifications in Android 10 are categorized into two groups ‘Alerting’ and ‘Silent’. So the user sets a notification to silent it won’t play sound or vibrate, but appears in the silent notifications section.
In this way, HTC U12 users can easily mute the notifications from messaging apps and also other apps. However, users can stop notifications totally from a specific app by going into Settings, customize app specific notifications, as in previous android versions.
Android 10 Bubbles
The Bubbles is a new way to multi-task, coming with the Android 10 update. Previously, Google introduced the Split screen and Picture in Picture features with Nougat and Oreo updates to multi-task on Android. Now with the Bubbles multi-tasking on Android gone to another level and provides improved user experience.
The feature works mostly similar to Facebook’s chatheads. When a new message or notification appears, a bubble like window appears on the app like Whatsapp through which users can chat or send reply without reaching for Navigation bar or launching the app.
Support for TLS 1.3
The Tenth anniversary edition of Android arrived with native support for the latest security protocol of Internet which is TLS 1.3. Google Chrome and Firefox browsers have been supported it for a while and now the stock android supports it. So all the apps designed for Android 10 can connect to their servers using the TLS 1.3 protocol.
The new Internet protocol has a feature called zero round-trip time, so that latency reduces drastically. The protocol also offers more security than the earlier one. Thus, the HTC U12 users can experience quicker app loading times after updating to Android 10.
The Android 10 update comes with the Live Captions feature which helps not only challenged people but also useful for normal users too. The feature uses AI associated on-device machine learning and analyze voices in Skype calls, videos, music and show real-time transcripts on the bottom of the screen.
The live captions box is movable throughout the screen but closes instantaneously after the video or skype call ends. So there is no option to save these transcripts at this time but Google may add it in upcoming updates.
Parental Controls and Focus mode
Google introduced the Digital Wellbeing with three components in Android 9 Pie, last year to prevent smartphone addictions and promote healthy usage. Now two new components have been added to the Digital Wellbeing. With Parental controls, users can control their children’s screen-on time, Specific app usage time and even lock some apps.
Focus mode is another feature to prevent constant interruptions by Notifications and alerts. When the user turns-on the focus mode, all notifications temporarily disappear and user can watch movie or concentrate on work on the device without interruptions. Consequently, productivity will be improved, according to Google. User can turn-off the mode by simply tapping on the shortcut created.
Battery saver schedule
The Search introduced the battery saver feature about five years ago with the Android 5 Lollipop update. Later many refinements like Doze mode are added to Battery saver in the subsequent updates. Now a new feature called scheduler of Battery saver came with the tenth iteration of Android.
When the user set option to Routine in the Battery saver section, the feature turns on automatically based on battery percentage and typical usage of phone by the user. It turns off automatically when user plugs in charger and charges upto 90 percent. Google may add more refinements to the battery saver feature in the forthcoming updates.
The Android 10 update includes Smart Reply feature which is an improvement of Quick Replies with the addition of AI associated on-device machine learning. There is no need to enable the feature manually after updating, as it comes enabled by default.
The feature work basically in this way : When a message arrives with address to a location, a quick action bubble will appear below the message, so that user can launch the Maps app and navigate to the address straight from the notification without copying the text. Smart reply works best with Google Maps at this moment but it may show Phone and Calender quick bubbles in coming days. It also shows suggested replies with emoji in notifications. So HTC U12 users can send a more customized reply with just a single tap.
Battery Status in Quick Settings
The Android 10 update removes battery percentage from Quick Settings and display only the estimated battery lasting time is given. So HTC U12 users can check how much time their battery will last, in the Quick Settings. However, some users complain that battery percentage is more accurate than time estimate since time will vary often based on usage.
According to some developers, disabling device health services will bring back battery percentage to the Quick Settings screen.
New Emoji Collection
The Android 10 update arrived with new emojis and improvements to existing ones. According to Emojipedia, the tenth anniversary edition of Android features 236 new emoji and 800 modified emoji.
Many emoji are modified as gender neutral and after getting updated to Android 10, HTC U12 users can use these emojis through updated Google keyboard. There is way to use previous gender specific emoji like Police Officer (Man) and Women getting haircut by long-tapping on the icon.
The new emoji collection include Animal emoji, icons depicting hearing aids, people in wheelchairs, sign language, mechanical arms, accessibility emojis and so on.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android 10 update for HTC U12+.