An update on new features, release date and smartphones that will be compatible with Android 11 is in the works.
Android 11 is already available in beta version on Pixel. The eleventh update of Google's mobile OS brings a host of new features, including native video screenshots, a single-use permission system and automated dark mode. An update on new features, release date and smartphones that will be compatible with Android 11 is in the works.
Google has already released 4 beta of Android 11 for developers as well as a first public beta. In order to fix some bugs encountered by users, Google has also deployed a revised version of the Android 11 beta containing 4 fixes. The launch of the final version of Android 11 would take place in the third quarter of 2020, probably at the end of August.
Android 11 new features
Google has already mentioned the main new features of Android 11 for application developers. We have condensed below the most important new features that mainly concern Android users. In the coming months, Google will unveil more additions and changes.
Allowing one-time access to geolocation
Like iOS 13, Android 11 implements a single-use authorization system. Users will be able to choose to share their location with a third-party application on a one-time basis. The next time the application wants to collect your location, it will have to ask for your permission again. Same bell to get access to the camera or microphone on your phone.
Similarly, the Play Store will only allow applications to request access to your location if it is necessary to "perform their primary function". Google has already implemented similar restrictions for applications that collect SMS and call history.
Restrictive permissions extended to other resources
Another important point about permissions is that restrictive permissions, which allow access to a resource only when the application is active (in the foreground), will be extended. In Android 10, they only concerned access to the geographical location. In Android 11, they will also be compatible with photo sensors (including the selfie sensor) and microphones. The aim is to prevent the possible collection of information without authorization.
In the same vein, Google has introduced a new, smarter permissions management option in Android 11 Developers Preview 3, with a new setting that allows Android 11 to automatically revoke the permissions of applications you no longer use in order to protect your personal data and enhance the security of your smartphone.
Android 11 adapts to new screen types
With Android 11, Google is adapting its mobile OS to the new screen designs that have appeared on the market, such as perforated tiles or highly curved screens (Waterfall Display). The firm provides a programming interface that allows to exploit the specificities of these screens. Concretely, future Android applications will be better optimized for such displays.
After the release of the first smartphones with foldable screens (Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X), this version of Android will natively support its new tile formats and devices that change their grip on the fly. Android 11 will be able to detect whether a hinge is open or closed, as well as the angle of opening in order to adapt the interface to the intended use.
Another new feature supported by Android is high refresh rates. Android 11 will be the first version to be natively compatible with 90 Hz and 120 Hz screens, i.e. tiles that display 90 or 120 frames per second.
Native video screenshots
Android 11 natively integrates a video screen capture system. The option is directly accessible in the quick settings of your smartphone in the "screen recording" section.
A conversation category in the notifications
Google adds a section dedicated to conversations in the Android Notification Center. All your messages and conversations in progress will be listed in this section. In addition, Android 11 will allow developers to place your current conversations in bubbles, just like Facebook Messenger. All messaging applications will be able to take advantage of this system, which is very much appreciated by users.
An automatic dark mode
As on iOS 13, Android 11 will automatically switch from light to dark mode and vice versa. This new option allows you to activate the mode according to sunrise or sunset or according to predefined times.
Android 11 prepares the arrival of the 5G
Android 11 provides developers with programming interfaces to determine whether a user is connected to a 5G network. Depending on the network to which your phone is connected, applications will adapt their mobile data consumption. A 5G indicator is also provided in the operating system. Developers will be able to use it to display connectivity in applications.
By the way, Android 11 upsets the nomenclature a bit, at the risk of erasing the line between 4G and 5G. Wireless networks will be displayed as follows in Android 11:
LTE (4G): 4G or LTE
LTE with signal aggregation (4G+): 4G+ or LTE+.
LTE Advanced pro (4G++): 5Ge
5G sub-6GHz: 5G
5G mmWave: 5G+
Android updates via the Play Store
Determined to accelerate the deployment of Android updates, Google is looking to simplify the process. To that end, the company is updating more and more elements of the Android system via the Play Store. With Android 11, 22 Android modules can be updated via the store, compared to only 10 elements under Android 10. With Android 11, Google also wants to systematize the installation of updates in the background in order to make the process smoother for the user.
Universal playback controls in the Quick Settings panel
Android 11 changes the placement of the read controls. Previously, notifications were provided to pause content - when certain applications were running. This has been completely replaced by permanent and universal playback controls directly in the Quick Settings panel, which also includes buttons for enabling or disabling WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode, for example. This media player is also accessible via the locked screen of the smartphone. Via this redesigned player it is possible to switch between the audio outputs, for example.
Smartphones compatible with Android 11
Initially, only Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were compatible with the update. However, other smartphones have since joined the Developers Preview 1, including OnePlus 8 / Pro and Xiaomi Mi 10 / Pro. Other smartphones such as the Poco F2 Pro, Oppo's Find X2 Pro or the Realme X50 Pro should also follow in the coming weeks.