Usually, Google releases the first builds of new versions of the mobile operating system in early spring, but this year the company unexpectedly changed the established tradition. The debut "beta" of Android 11 for developers appeared on the network without a loud announcement and is already available for download.
The list of key features of the new OS includes changes aimed at optimizing the interface of bendable smartphones and gadgets with screens of non-standard configurations. Android 11 also introduced improved low-latency video encoding algorithms for streaming services, including data transfer in 5G networks.
Among the visual modifications of the UI are floating "bubbles" for quick access to chats, allowing you to easily conduct several conversations at the same time. It is also possible to display separate notifications for each of the conversations in messengers.
The new Smart Hotseat feature automatically fills empty spaces on the home screen with shortcuts to the most frequently used apps for easy launch.
The updated mode for granting permissions when accessing the microphone, camera, and geolocation data will allow you to monitor in detail the background activity capabilities of installed applications. In particular, individual programs can be granted one-time access, and after two refusals, the user can disable the corresponding request. The Scoped Storage feature allows applications to request access only to individual files instead of the entire file system.
You can also record the screen. For gesture control, there is a built-in "instruction" that will tell the user exactly how to control a particular function. The operation of the notification system has also changed — you can view and manage the log of records using the system itself, without using third-party utilities.
In addition, there is a fine-tuning of the sensitivity of gestures in different parts of the display — this will allow you to customize the smartphone interface for yourself.
The Battery Share feature allows smartphones that support reverse charging to share electricity with other devices. This feature is already implemented in many models, but this time it is organized at the OS level. Another innovation designed for developers is the display mode of the current display refresh rate.
In the new version of Android, the Bluetooth module will remain enabled even when the airplane mode is activated. This option will be useful for users of TWS headphones and other wireless peripherals.
Enabling the dark design interface can now be configured depending on the light level or according to a schedule. Most of the other features of the first beta of Android 11 are intended for developers — their list includes advanced features for sending error messages and other settings.
The finished build of Android 11 Developer Preview 1 is already available for download. You can install the beta version of the new OS on Google Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3A, and Pixel 4 smartphones.