While several devices are still running Android 9 Pie and Android 10 is gradually rolling out to devices globally the search giant Google unveils the first Android 11 developer’s preview.
According to Google, “Today, we’re releasing the first Developer Preview of Android 11 and building on a strong feedback cycle last year, we’re making this year’s preview available to you earlier than ever,”
Google’s Android 11 brings tons of new functionality to help users to protect their private data, as well as new capabilities for 5G networking and foldable smartphone designs.
Android 11 – Everything You Should Know About
- 5G Networks
- New Form Factor
Android 11 brings support for the new 5G network. It will include enhanced connectivity APIs to allow developers and users to better take advantage of these improved speeds.
Updated APIs include the Dynamic metered API and Bandwidth Estimator API.
- Dynamic metered API – Allows developers to check whether the user’s connection is unmetered and adjust the resolution and quality of their content accordingly.
- Bandwidth estimator API – Allows developers to check the user connection’s bandwidth without polling the network.
Android 11 will bring a number of changes to the way conversations and notifications are handled within the operating system. This includes;
- A dedicated conversations section in the notification area
- Native chat bubbles
- Support for inserting images into inline notification replies
The search giant will bring more privacy features to enable a better experience for users on its platform. “In Android 11 we’re continuing our focus on user privacy with new permission options, updates to scoped storage, and more,” Google.
New privacy features include;
- One-time permission – Grants apps the ability to access data or hardware elements for a single-use, with permissions being revoked once the app is closed.
- Scoped storage – Improvements to external storage for an app and user data, including opt-in raw file path access, updated Documents UI, and batch edit operations in MediaStore.
- Google will also update its Google Play Policy for all Android versions to ensure that apps only request location permissions when truly necessary.
New form factors
Come 2019, we saw a couple of new form factor into the smartphone space, and although the tech giant already announced support for foldable with Android 10, Android 11 will deliver better supports for new form factors.
Android 11 includes APIs which let developers optimise their applications to support these form factors, including waterfall and pinhole screen designs.
Android 11 will also improve security on smartphones, from expanded biometrics support to secure ID storage. The following changes are coming with the new OS;
- Biometrics – BiometricPrompt now supports three authenticator types with different levels of granularity and can be more easily integrated with different app architectures.
- Platform hardening – Improvements to the protection of security-critical components and heap pointer tagging for catching memory issues.
- Identity credentials – Support for the secure storage and retrieval of identification documents, such as mobile driving licences.
- Android 11 will also allow applications to share data more securely through a Blobstore Manager.
Google said it has been working to reach a wider range of devices more quickly with its updates.
“We’re also working to make updates faster and smoother by prioritizing app compatibility as we roll out new platform versions,” the company said.
Developers can now visit the Android 11 developer site, to download a system image for the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 5, and try out the new operating system.