Safaricom, Airtel, and other telcos will relish this Android Q feature

Android Q features

Many of our readers are yet to get a taste of the latest Android 9 Pie yet stories of Android Q, the former’s successor and the next greatest operating system from Google, are already doing rounds on the web.

In fact, folks at XDA Developers have already obtained a working build of Android Q that has been installed on a Google Pixel 3 XL, a phone that is not known to a good number in these sides of the world. You can check out this post for more on what the upcoming OS brings over the current Pie.

Just to give you a hint, though, Android Q is expected to bring forth a number of great features such as a system-wide dark mode, new permission settings, and plenty of other good stuff. But as we all know, every good thing has its unwanted side and so does Android Q.

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According to a discovery made by one of my favorite tech blogs, 9to5Google, Google is planning to hand network service providers much easier ways of SIM-locking your Android phone. Apparently, network providers will be allowed to include a whitelist and blacklist of carriers in a future Android update.

Beginning with Android Q, though, telcos will be able to restrict the dual-SIM feature on your phone by locking the second SIM card slot. To make this second SIM slot usable, one must insert the specific network’s SIM in slot 1.

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For instance, Airtel Kenya may sell you a dual-SIM phone, but to prevent you from completely ditching their SIM and instead using the phone on other networks, they lock SIM 1 slot to their network. Yes, SIM 2 slot can be used with a Safaricom or Telkom SIM, but in order to unlock and make it actually detect your other SIM card, you MUST first insert the Airtel SIM card in slot 1.

Safaricom, the only carrier in Kenya that’s serious about locking devices to their network, would usually elect to go with single-SIM variants of the same phones that sell elsewhere in their dual-SIM variants. With Android Q, they won’t have to go through the hassles of striking deals with device makers for single-SIM variants, instead, they simply sell you the same dual-SIM variant that has SIM 1 locked to Safaricom and it must be inside the phone in order to unlock SIM 2.

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On the brighter side, we still have months between now and the official release of Q, which means we have time for even more changes. So, maybe this feature will not make it to the final build, but for sure, it is one feature many telcos will relish.

Featured image source: XDA Developers

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