Google has released the first developer preview of Android 11 and it is now available to download and test for the developers. Google made a surprising reveal of its upcoming Android version earlier today. More importantly, Android 11 is improving privacy and security for users.
It brings enhancements for foldable phones and screen types, new camera capabilities, privacy-centric tools, convenient app behaviour, 5G-related improvements, and a lot more. Aside from releasing the first Android 11 Developer Preview, Google has also revealed the rollout timeline for upcoming builds to its stable release.
Android 11 developer preview is available for Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 phones. Google is expected to add more phones for the future Android 11 developer previews. Android 11 is bringing a ton of new features this year which include cosmetic changes, performance improvements and more. Like Android 10, Google is focusing on privacy and security on Android 11 as well.
Android 10 introduced pop-up alerts of apps using location in the background. Users would be notified on apps using location services and also provide short-cuts for permissions. On Android 11, Google is bringing one-time permission for access to location, microphone and camera of the phone. Android 11 also introduces the Bubbles API on notifications, which brings chat bubbles to the table so that users can easily keep conversations in view while multi-tasking.
The new version of Google mobile OS also expands biometrics compatibility and adds platform support for securely storing and retrieving verifiable IDs like driving license and more such documents. Another minor, but a convenient feature, introduced by Android 11 is that apps can now use new APIs to mute ringtones and vibrations for alarms or notifications while using the phone’s camera. Bokeh mode enhancements, a native image decoder, and the ability to decode and render image animations from HEIF files have also arrived. The latter is claimed to drastically reduce file size for image sequences.
Google is also making it easier for users to deny permission requests. On Android 11, if the user denies a permission request for an app then this means the user will not see the request again. Google also clarifies that pressing the back button doesn’t mean the user has denied permission to the app. But if users are taken to the permission section in the settings menu and then press the back button then it is counted as a deny action.