Android 11 first developer preview is here and it looks like it has exciting features altogether topping what Android 10 brought in.
The developer preview has realised very early just months after Android 10 rollout which saw a massive shift for the operating system.
Currently, it’s only available to download for a few Pixel phones. For example, the Pixel 2,3, 3A and 4 and it’s not a public beta. It can only be installed by wiping and flashing your phone.
From a comment on Android Central blog post, “Android 11 looks to be a fairly modest year-over-year improvement compared to Android 10. At least in Developer Preview 1, there aren’t any major UI changes.”
Some of the biggest features include big improvements to how Android handles 5G connections, support for more display types, and more powerful permission controls.
Features of the Android 11 preview
Early features of the developer preview 1 include:
Bubbles — Reminiscent of Facebook’s chat heads, the “bubbles” feature. It’s a new UI for messaging apps that let you keep several conversations easily accessible anywhere through a floating bubble. It seems Google’s own messaging app has support, but the idea is that any app like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Signal could take advantage of the feature.
Conversations — There is a new conversations section of the notification shade that breaks out new messages into their own area ahead of all your emails, Instagram likes, and app updates. The idea is to make the communication parts of your phone more accessible.
Better app permissions — Android 11 is adding the option to just give apps temporary permission to your camera, microphone, and location data. It’s a simple addition, but one that makes Android a lot more secure.
Screen recording — Google already had a version of this in Android 10’s betas that didn’t make its way to the final version. But screen recording is back and has a whole fancy UI this time. This means that the feature may finally be shipping in Android 11. It basically can record your screen.
Smaller tweaks and changes:
- Automated dark mode toggles
- A new Motion Sense gesture for the Pixel 4 to play or pause music
- An “increased touch sensitivity” setting for the Pixel 4, meant for use with screen savers
- The option to pin apps to the top of the share sheet is back from the Android 10 beta.
- Turning on airplane mode no longer disconnects Bluetooth audio connections.
There are also plenty more changes that are simply under the hood. For instance, better support for the folding, waterfall, and pinhole displays, 5G integration. It comes with scoped storage, improved privacy and security, and more.
But remember, the current Android 11 developer beta is a very early version of what we’ll be getting. So feature tweaks and major changes should be expected.