Every Android release in recent years has iterated on the Ambient Display, with Android Q today making a handful of tweaks. Currently playing media is now displayed underneath the time, while battery status has been moved to a more logical location.


For starters, the name “Ambient Display” — in Beta 1 anyways — does not appear in settings. In Display, there is a new combined “Lock screen display” menu with a “When to show” section that users can set to “Always on.” Searching for “Ambient” in settings, however, brings up that appropriate page.

Meanwhile, when media is playing, it is now reflected on the Always-on Display. Appearing underneath the time, it replaces the day and date, as well as weather condition and temperature from the Pixel Launcher. It features the app icon, song title, and artist. So far, we’ve tested it with videos from YouTube and YouTube Music, as well as Spotify.

Elsewhere, the battery status is no longer displayed at the very bottom of the screen. While this placement makes sense as it is in close physical proximity to the USB-C port and good for noting the charging speed, Android users are more familiar with battery percentage in the top-right corner.

This is the case in Android Q and matches the position when the screen is active and unlocked. Additionally, this new location is less likely to crowd Now Playing on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3.

More on Android Q:

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