Android 11 developer preview: What's new in the 11-year old mobile OS?

Siddharth Mathew Cherian Chennai | Updated on February 21, 2020 Published on February 21, 2020

Android 11

What's in store for Android lovers this year? The developer preview of the Android 11 that might have some answers

On February 19 night, Google had revealed the next iteration of the Android Mobile OS; it released the first developer preview of the Android 11.

In the past, a developer preview for an Android mobile OS was presented every year at Google's marquee event -The Google I/O conference held in May, and was promoted elaborately by September-October on Pixel devices.

About 90-120 days after the elaborate promotion activities, OEM manufacturers would set out to launch their blend of Android OS themed to their devices.

Android Developers (@AndroidDev), the official twitter handle for News and announcements for developers from the Android team shared a GIF with a sneak peek of the Green Google bot in its Android 11 avatar.

Here are a few features (both new and old) that have been listed for Android 11 on the Android Developers Google blog:

1. Improved 5G experience.

2. Support for different type of mobile screens types like pinhole and waterfall screens.

3. Improved conversation platforms through bubbles (like Facebook messenger), dedicated conversation section in the drop down notification and Insert images into notification replies.

4. Improved privacy settings in the form of One Time permission for Apps, scoped storage.

5. Improved security in the form of enhanced biometric support, secure storage and handling of data and identity credentials.

6. Updates and compatibility aspects like project mainline for delivering Google play system updates to improve to improve security, privacy, and consistency across the ecosystem as well as app compatibility 

7. Improved connectivity in terms of call screening improvements, Wi-fi API enhancements.

8. Image and camera improvements in terms of support for HEIF image format, Native image decoder, muting notifications and sounds during camera capture and more and various Bokeh modes besides low latency in Video decoding(Aka Google stadia) and HDMI low latency support for external displays, TV’s.

Supported devices

One can get started, download and flash a device system image to a Pixel 2 / 2 XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL, or Pixel 4 / 4 XL device, or using the Android Emulator through Android Studio. 

Developer previews are often meant for developers to help them try out Android 11 features, test apps and give their feedback to Google. Most often these developer previews are not available to the general public and have to be manually downloaded as well as flashed on compatible mobiles as they are normally bug laden and untested version of the Android OS which may or may not have a certain feature and could end up bricking mobile phone for general consumers.

Possibility of stable previews

Most likely there will be stable builds of Android 11 beta versions released post Google I/O conference in May, if it takes place.

Published on February 21, 2020
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