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Latest Essential AMA: Android Q Support, Camera Features Roadmap, and More

Essential is still doing its monthly Ask Me Anythings over on reddit, providing its community with an opportunity to ask actual Essential staff anything related to Essential and the Essential Phone.

This time around, folks asked about Android P beta updates and even got to discussing support for Android Q. Interestingly, Essential said that it does plan on supporting Android Q on the PH-1, so long as the schedule Google provides doesn’t differ from Android P’s with regard to timing. That’s great news for Essential owners.

Of course, there were plenty of people asking about the phone’s camera and any other improvements they can expect in future updates. The team states they are constantly working to improve it on all fronts, but may get sidetracked here and there by more pressing issues.

Here are the highlights from the most recent AMA.

Can you comment on the Essential camera feature roadmap? Are we going to get features like Panorama, Manual mode and Photo Sphere before the phones End-of-life?

As we’ve done previously, we’ll provide periodic updates to the Essential Camera app. Top crashes, performance improvements, security fixes, and high impact bugs will be on top of our to-do list. Select feature updates could likely make their way into these updates. At this time we have no new features planned for immediate release.

Manual camera?

We looked at this feature extensively and decided to address more pressing items on our to-do list. Top crashes, performance improvements, security fixes, and high impact bugs will be on top of our to-do list for the foreseeable future.

Are you aware of the recent [Bluetooth] issues and have any paths to a solution?

We are aware of these issues and have been doing a deep dive in to trying to find a root cause. Hopefully we can find a solution and get that out to all of you in the near future.

Any ETA on this DAC release?

No dates yet but we are getting close and they sound awesome!

Can you simply tell us a yes or no on whether we should expect the PH-1 to get Android Q?

I don’t have any information about when Q would drop, and obviously that would have an effect on this answer. Assuming the schedule for Q is like the schedule for P we plan to do it. […] We made a commitment to our users when they made a commitment to our products, and we intend to stand by it.

What’s something you’re excited to tell us?

I’m just starting to get my hands on some cool new stuff and oh man do I wish I could tell you.

Any updates on improving the PH-1’s Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for video capture.

We looked at this feature extensively and decided to defer it relative to other more pressing items on our to-do list. Top crashes, performance improvements, security fixes and high impact bugs will be on top of our to-do list for the foreseeable future.

Any chance that we can get notch settings in the Android P beta?

It’s possible, We are going to wait and see what Google does in the final release build before we manipulate the notch any further. We have worked very closely with them on the notch implementation so they are using our best practices. After the final drop, we will access if it makes sense to put the settings option back in. Good news is a lot of us here like you want it in.

Any chance of adding exFAT support to the PH-1?

Unfortunately we don’t have any current plans to add exFAT support at this time.

What are you most excited about/looking forward to bringing to the PH-1 with Android P?

It’s demonstrating our ability to continue to deliver android updates with little to 0 latency behind Google. We have a lot of pride in getting our customers updates early and often and we will continue to do so for you guys.

Can you tell us an Andy Rubin story?

He’s very generous sharing his 40 year old Whiskey.

The full AMA can be found right here.

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