After Android 9 Pie launch, Google announced that they will follow a numerical order for their future OS versions. So after 2019’s Android 10, we are here to give you an insight on the upcoming Android 11. Recently, Google has launched its Android 11 developer preview. It is way ahead of Google’s yearly routine. Normally it takes till March for developer previews to come out, but this early release just shows how many new changes Android 11 is bringing with it. This is nowhere near what we will see later in the Q3 of 2020, when the stable version launches, but it’s a start to the next Android.
When will Android 11 be released?
The Android 11 expected to be announced on May 12, 2020, and the final build will begin to roll out from October 2020 to all eligible phones.
|Android 11 Builds||Release Timeline|
|Developer Preview 1||February 2020|
|Developer Preview 2||March 2020|
|Developer Preview 3||April 2020|
|Beta 1||May 2020|
|Beta 2||June 2020|
|Beta 3||Q3 2020|
|Final Build||Q3 2020|
Physical Google I/O 2020 event which was set to take place between May 12 and May 14 has been cancelled due to concerns around the coronavirus. We expected to see Google reveal the Android 11 at Google I/O event. Now it seems, Google may host an online event in the calmer environment for Android 11 launch.
The pixel devices are always the first ones to come with the official Android updates, following which other brands start rolling out Android for their devices. Last year it was Oneplus to follow google, this year anyone else might take that crown. After Android 11 is up and running on pixel devices, it will be distributed for any manufacturer to use and provide software updates to all the other latest smartphones.
Google released the first developer preview in February 2020. Now, the company has started rolling out Developer Preview 2 for upcoming Android 11. If you’re already running Developer Preview 1 on your device then you will receive an OTA update. The second Preview update brings Improved Call screening service, Hinge angle for foldable devices, Scoped storage updates, Support for Variable refresh rate, Synchronized IME transitions and more.
The OS Preview is available on Google Pixel 4 / 4XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, and Pixel 2 / 2 XL. If you have a Pixel device and you are a developer then you can download the Developer Preview system image and flash it to your device by clicking here.
One can install this developer version of Android, but it will be extremely buggy for normal use. It’s an OS version, intended specifically for developers and that’s what should happen.
Besides, the features that are currently available with this version might change in the stable version and many other new features will make their way into Android 11 too. So till now, what are the notable features we will see in Android 11? Let’s take a brief look into it.
Here is a list of all Android 11 features
- Mute notifications during recording
- Improved touch sensitivity
- Native screen recording
- Scrolling screenshots
- Back gesture tweaking
- Improved support for curved displays
- AirPlane mode won’t turn off Bluetooth
- Share menu App pinning
- Improved notification shade conversations
- Chat bubbles
- Dark mode scheduling
- One time permissions
- Scoped storage
- Better handling of older notifications
- Project mainline enhancements
- Reverse charging
- Motion controls for certain phones
Mute notifications during recording:
It is pretty annoying when you are trying to make an awesome video of the scenery around you, or you want to capture a family moment and a notification pops up. Now with Android 11, you will have uninterrupted video recording with all notifications turned to mute during recording.
Improved touch sensitivity:
This is something that many of us will appreciate. No matter how much stronger the glass is on a phone, we always end up applying a tempered glass to make sure the real glass is never damaged. Sometimes with average quality tempered glasses we face issues of miss swipes and touches but not anymore. Google will incorporate better touch sensitivity on the software side, which will result in flawless touches all the time, even if one has a tempered glass installed on to the device.
Native screen recording:
Screen recording is something Android users have always wished for and here it is finally. We heard rumours about it making it to Android 10 but it failed to do so as it was not yet ready. But with Android 11 that’s a new feature we will have for sure. We will no longer need any additional apps to record our screens.
We will finally see scrolling screenshot support in Android with the 11th version. This is easily one of the most anticipated features for Android users.
Back gesture tweaking:
With gestures controlling movements in Android 10, users faced the issue of listing out certain apps menu, when they tried to go back. But with Android, we will see sliders that will allow the user to control the sensitivity of the back gesture. There will be two sliders, one for the left-hand side of the screen and one for the right.
Improved support for curved displays:
Curved displays surely make the device appealing but with curved displays, one can face quite some issues with accidental touches. Now and then unintentional touches end up ruining the experience. But now in Android 11, Google has come up with a new API. This will allow developers to specify the screen area for interaction.
AirPlane mode won’t turn off Bluetooth:
In previous Android versions, we had Bluetooth killed off when Airplane mode was turned on. Then we had to turn Bluetooth on the back again. This is an issue especially considering how popular Bluetooth earphones have been in recent times. So now even when someone toggles on the Airplane mode, the Bluetooth won’t get turned off and keep functioning perfectly.
Share menu App pinning:
There was a feature in Android before, that let users pin their most frequently used apps in the share menu. It was removed but now we have it back on the Android 11.
Improved notification shade conversations:
When a new notification pops up, specifically speaking a text, you have the latest one on top and you can pull it down to tap in the reply. With Android 11 you will be able to do way more than just opening up the topmost latest text to reply. One will even be able to send picture messages right from the notification tab.
Google had this feature for the Android 10 but not many developers or OEMs adopted it. They are not backing down though as this has been pushed out again as a stand out feature of Android 11 so that the OEMs can take a second look at it and implement it further in their Android skins.
Dark mode scheduling:
We will see a dynamic system-wide dark mode in Android 11. This will change the setting on the device between dark mode and normal mode depending upon the time of use, that is depending on the fact as to whether it is day or night or evening time. This came in from Google as a response after other OEMs already made this feature available in previous Android skinned versions.
One time permissions:
Previously on Android 10, we had the feature to allow permission to access location, camera or microphone data only while the app is open. But with Android 11 we will have a one-time permission setting that will enable usage permission only for a single time.
Apps will now have access to only certain parts of your filesystem, better protecting a user’s private data. This will basically “silo” apps for data protection. This has already caused a stir though in the development society, and Google has announced that they won’t release this feature in the stable if there are any issues regarding security and access.
Better handling of older notifications:
Presently stable android versions don’t make it easy to access older notifications once they have been swiped off, even sometimes by mistake. But with Android 11 we will have separate setting by the name “Notification history”, that will keep all the information about the older notifications and even new notifications.
Project mainline enhancements:
Android 10 meant users could download Android update parts directly from the play store. This will receive an improvement with even more android parts being pushed out through the play store. This will result in fewer OTA updates.
This might just be a tip of the iceberg though, and we will probably see more features making it to the stable version that will release in the Q3 of 2020.
In Android 11 we will see an option to share battery, which means that future Pixel devices will come with reverse wireless charging, and Pixel 5 will be the first one among them.
Motion controls for certain phones:
The Pixel 4 comes with sensors that track air movement. And now we will finally see updates from Android that will make the complete use of this future hardware. Pixel 4 users with Android 11 will be able to interact with apps without really touching the screen if the bugs don’t cause any major issues here.
List of phones expected to receive Android 11 update