At this moment, most smartphones out there are still not even running Android Pie - let alone Android 10. But that doesn't stop Google from working on an early developer preview of Android 11!
We assume that it'll be released along with Google's next Flagship, Pixel 5. But, thanks to a few people who are willing to take the plunge and try out the very buggy developer preview, we get to take a peek at Android 11 from now.
So, without any further ado, let's check it out!
Keep in mind that at the moment of writing this article, Android 11 is still a buggy mess that's unlikely to get you through a full day without any major issues. And that's on a Pixel device. So, you can basically forget about trying it out on anything else.
And with that said, if you want to go ahead and give it a try after reading this article, you're doing it at your own risk. We won't be held responsible for any damages that you may cause after trying out a developer preview of your own volition.
Other than that, do also keep in mind that you must take everything that's mentioned here with a bucket of salt. Since this is a very early build, there is no guarantee that all of the features that we're about to mention will make it to the final release.
Not to mention that Google is very likely to tweak a lot of stuff. And that's about it for now.
Android 11: New Features
Pretty much all of this info comes from Linus Media Group/LTT along with anything that Google provides every now and then. Here's the video.
And for those who prefer reading, here's what's new in a nutshell.
Screen Recording: This was actually possible on both Android 9 and 10 thanks to 3rd party software. Some Android skins, such as MIUI 11, also tend to come with a recorder pre-installed. But it looks like all Android 11 devices will now be coming with a screen recorder pre-installed.
Bubbles/Chat heads: Some apps, such as Facebook's messenger, come with the floating heads, chat heads, bubbles, or however you may want to call them. After Android 11, it looks like we'll be able to individually enable or disable each one of them. And we also get a few more options/settings now.
Status bar: As you can see in the image above, conversations/messages in the status bar are now being put above everything else. They are the ones that take priority. And you also get a few more options like snoozing or muting them.
Dark theme scheduling: You can now schedule dark mode to be universally enabled or disabled at certain times. Just like with DND, you also get the option to adjust it from sunset to sunrise.
Bluetooth connectivity: If there's anything connected to your phone, then Bluetooth is going to stay enabled after you turn on Airplane Mode.
That was about it for all the new features. As far as minor additions and chances are concerned, here's what you need to know:
Location permissions: Android 10 gives us the option of only allowing an app to access our location while we're using the app in the foreground. Android 11 takes this one step further and gives us the option of giving permissions only once. If you deny access to it twice, then the OS will stop prompting you.
Also, background locating is no longer allowed out of the box. You must go into the settings and enable it for the specific app of your choice. And mind you, that applies to Google Maps as well.
Battery share: A dedicated setting which probably means that the upcoming Pixel 5 will be able to charge other devices.
Under the Hood
Updates: As of Android 10, certain OS parts for specific phones can be updated through the Play Store. This allows us to install small chunks instead of waiting for one huge update.
Android 11 improves on that aspect by bringing more OS modularity. This basically means that we can update lots of small improvements and fixes without having to wait as much for one big update.
Scoped storage: The latest version of Android makes some changes on how apps access our files. Instead of having access to all of our phone, apps will only be able to read and write from specific, common directories.
Chances are that these common directories are where media is stored. Things like pics, music, and downloads. That said, you also have the option of giving specific apps access to all of your system. And that's a necessity for apps like file explorers/managers.
That's important not only for privacy - but for security as well. The only problem is that developers need to modify their apps so that it'll work with this new file system. And that can be quite a lot of work. So, we'll see how that goes.
- The default launcher comes with a jiggle effect
- You can now access your notification history
- Media playback control buttons are now placed in the quick settings panel
- There's an option for displaying the refresh rate of the display at the corner of the screen (Hidden under the developer options)
- We may be able to pick specific colors for individual quick settings icons
Android 11 First Look: Wrapping Up
Don't forget that some of these features may not make it to the final build. Not to mention that they may receive quite a lot of changes. Just take everything with a grain of salt.
That's all for now. Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!