Google has officially released the latest version of its mobile operating system, known as Android 10. Unfortunately, outside of a few rare phones, it can take months or years (if at all) before your phone receives an update. If you are one of the disadvantaged people, there are ways to get features similar to Android 10.
The reason for the delay is that the manufacturer must work on an update for each phone model before it can be released to end users. Google tries to solve this problem by adding functions to the application or sending updates through Google Play Services, not the operating system. However, that still leaves some features out of reach for a long time.
Android 10 comes with dark system-wide mode, motion navigation, location permissions, focus mode to reduce distractions, and more. Many of these features can be replicated with third-party applications or even by changing the settings. This is what the latest version was added to Android and how to get these features (or something similar) on any mobile device.
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Eliminate interruptions with third-party applications
One of the most practical new features in Android 10 is Focus Mode, which allows you to block annoying apps when you need to focus. You can no longer open this application and the phone will not receive notifications from them. The app icon is gray and if you try to launch it the phone will remind you that the app is paused.
You can get app-like effects like FocusMe and Freedom, which allow you to set up an app blocklist and website so you can cut off access when you need to focus. Schedule blocks of time throughout the day to automatically eliminate distractions and receive reminders for breaks.
If working on a 25-minute update helps you, FocusMe includes a built-in Pomodoro timer, which also works on Mac and PC, so you can block distractions everywhere.
The only downside here is the cost. FocusMe and Freedom are both $ 7 a month or $ 30 a year. Get a lifetime subscription to Freedom for $ 129 (code SEP2019 to get a lifetime subscription for just $ 64.50 this month) or FocusMe for $ 120. However, one of these options is a hefty price for something provided by Google for free. Because they both work on more than just Android, the costs may be worth it, but if you don't want to spend money, you may have to wait for Android 10.
Try motion navigation with free apps
For years, Android has used a collection of navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. With Android 10, Google ejects iPhone book pages and applies gesture navigation. Now, you can swipe from one side to go back, or swipe from the bottom to go home and open the app drawer. However, you don't need to update the operating system to test this move.
The XDA software modding community created an app called Motion Navigation, which adds a similar form of motion navigation using bars along the bottom of the screen. This app gesture only works on the bar, making it more limited compared to Google, which is supported anywhere on the screen.
However, the XDA gesture version is much more customizable. You can Touchez, double Touchez or long press on the bottom bar to do things like go home or start Google Assistant. You can slide the bar back, open the latest app, or even launch your notification screen. Each move can be adjusted to your liking (though some are locked behind the $ 149 Premium add-on)
According to the DIY community theme behind it, you need to connect your cell phone to the computer and run console commands to hide your old navigation bar, but even if you're not up for the challenge, you can still try the moves to see how you like it without the settings. Complicated.
Activate dark mode where available
In Android 10, you can touch a button in your phone settings to activate a dark theme for your phone, so that the bright lights no longer criticize you every time you check your phone. This will also activate this theme for certain compatible Google applications, such as Calendar and Photos.
Fortunately for everyone who doesn't use Android 10, the dark mode theme extends to Facebook Messenger, Lazy, Twitter, and many other third-party applications. There are also dark theme apps that you can download, but the quality may vary once again.
In some previous Android versions, you can also force a dark theme by changing your wallpaper to something darker. This feature may work differently depending on the company that makes your phone, but it's a good idea to give it a try.
Unfortunately, there isn't much else that can be done regarding system-level visualization, like settings or notifications without a complicated root solution, but it still spends most of the time in the app, so this should take you to the maximum.
A phone you can buy to get updates faster
If there are too many obstacles when using the solution to get the latest features, there are several phones you can buy that could receive updates faster. Among them are Google's Pixel phone and a few others, which have received updates for Android 10.
In addition, several cell phones were included in the initial Android 10 beta program, including Huawei Mate 20OnePlus 7 Pro and Asus Zenfone 5Z. Although this does not guarantee future updates, it is likely that this device, and the latest versions, will soon get Android 10.
When it comes to Pixel phones, Google guarantees at least three years of updates with Pixel 4 being released in October. If you are looking for a new cell phone this could be the best way to get Android 10 and some future releases.