The earliest Android 11 developer preview version landed in mid-February. The second preview version was released in March, and the third preview version was released on April 23. Then, on May 6, Google released the surprising fourth Android 11 preview and the updated Android 11 beta release schedule.
Now, with the release of the first Android 11 Beta on June 10, we begin to fully understand the appearance of the stable version of Android 11.
However, just a warning, it may not be worth installing Android 11 on your phone now. There will be many errors, and most of the new features will not even appear. However, there are some new user-oriented features, such as native screen recorders, chat bubbles, notification history, etc.
New Features of Android 11
Native screen recording: Google has been working hard to add a built-in screen recorder to Android, and Android 11 almost confirmed that the feature will be launched this year. You can use the screen recorder in the first Android 11 preview, but it will be more perfect in DP2.
Mute the notification during the video: don’t you hate it when you shoot something and receive the notification? It’s so annoying. Android 11 allows you to mute notifications when recording video.
Improve touch sensitivity: People who use screen protectors will like this feature. Google added the “Increase Touch Sensitivity” option in the settings menu, which allows you to improve the sensitivity of the touch screen. If you use a screen protector, this will reduce missing taps and paper rolls.
Notification history: Android makes it difficult for you to easily view previously canceled notifications, while Android 10’s notification log is basically hidden from users. Android 11 DP1 prompts the “Notification History” option, while DP2 basically confirms the option. The new feature looks very useful.
Automatically revoke application permissions: Android 11 DP3 introduces a new option that can automatically revoke the permissions of applications that have not been used for a period of time, such as camera and location. If you think an app will no longer be actively used in a few months, you can enable this new setting.
Hints Features in Android 11
Scrolling screenshots may be released soon: In the first Android 11 Beta, this feature has not been enabled, but it seems that Google will eventually provide scrolling screenshot support for Android.
Pixel 5 reverse wireless charging? In the settings of Android 11, you will find a function called Battery Share. This may mean that Google is preparing reverse wireless charging for Pixel 5.
Color quick setting icons: With some ADB commands, you can change the color of a single quick setting icon. This may just be a weird aspect of Android 11, or it may indicate that Google is testing the way that UI-based users do this.
Improved overview menu, screenshot shortcuts: In Android 11 Developer Preview 3, Google improved the overview menu to display a larger graphics card and two new screenshot shortcuts. However, it also removed the ability to access the application drawer from the overview menu.
The media player can now be set up quickly: if you are listening to music on your phone, you are used to finding the media player in the notification bar. In Android 11, the player will move to the quick settings area and get more tools, including the ability to easily select the output device. However, even in the first Beta, this feature was turned off in the development options.
New text selection mode in the overview menu: In the fourth Android 11 Developer Preview, Google added a “select” button to the overview menu. Tapping on it allows you to quickly select text within one application and paste it into another application.
Improved power menu: Android 11 will have a thoroughly revised power menu that gives you quick access to smart home controls, Google Wallet card, and power options.
Ability to eliminate persistent application notifications: If you have used Android before, you may encounter persistent notifications (notifications that you cannot easily swipe). In Android 11 Developer Preview 3, Google allows you to clear all notifications. Don’t worry if you accidentally forget the notification, you can quickly restore it.
Airplane mode will not kill Bluetooth: Previously, turning on airplane mode would also kill Bluetooth on your phone, which didn’t make much sense. The person using airplane mode may have connected a Bluetooth headset and have to turn on Bluetooth again. In Android 11, after enabling airplane mode, Bluetooth remains on.
More elaborate post-gesture adjustments: Sometimes you perform some similar gestures to activate the hamburger menu, so post-gestures are sometimes frustrating. Fortunately, Android 11 has two sliders that allow you to control the sensitivity of the back gestures-one for the left side of the screen and the other for the right side. This is a welcome change compared to the single sensitivity slider in Android 10.
Pixel 4’s new Motion Sense option: For months, we have been complaining that Google seems to have ignored Motion Sense on the Pixel 4. In Android 11, the company added a new method to control the phone without touching it. In Android 11, you can click the air button above the phone to pause the music.
Pixel Themes adjusts the clock: In the “Pixel theming” section of “Settings”, you can customize how the clock is displayed on the AOD and lock screen. However, in the first Beta, only one clock option was available.
Pixel 4 face unlock will require you to open your eyes: Speaking of Pixel 4, it seems that Android 11 will provide users with the function of requiring their eyes to be opened to enable the face to unlock to work. This may reduce unlocking efficiency, but it will definitely make your phone safer.
Enhanced notification shadow dialog: When you receive text, you can view the latest news in the notification shadow under the new “Dialog” tab. Not only can you see more topics, but also have a richer method of writing messages, including the method of sending picture messages directly from the notification. Thanks to improvements to the appearance of notifications, notifications will also look more organized.
Pin apps in the “Sharing” menu: Android used to allow you to pin the most frequently used apps to the shared table, but this option was removed in Android 10. It’s back now.
Upgraded voice access function: Previously, Android voice access marked all operations with numbers on the screen, so that you can call up the number to perform the above operations. Now, Android 11 can read the content on the screen, and you can talk about the operation, which is a pretty good auxiliary function upgrade. An example shown by Dieter Bohn of The Verge includes saying “Instagram” to launch the application instead of saying the corresponding number.
ADB incremental installation: Using ADB to install large (2GB or larger) APKs can be a slow process. In Android 11, because of the installation of incremental APKs, developers can load these APKs onto the device up to 10 times faster.
It can work by installing enough APKs to start the application while streaming the remaining data in the background. This is especially useful for developers working on mobile games. It only works on Pixel 4 devices with DP3 and higher, but phones released with Android 11 will also promote this feature.
Application Exit Reason Update: Google has updated the Exit Reason API to allow developers to request detailed information about their application’s recent exit. Apps may exit for a variety of reasons, including crashes.
This update helps developers better understand the stability of their applications and how to improve their performance.
A new memory security tool: Google added GWP-ASan to help developers find and fix memory security issues. GWP-ASan is a sampling allocation tool that can detect heap memory errors with minimal impact on performance. By default, it runs in platform binaries and system applications, and developers can also enable it for their own applications.
Improvements in wireless debugging: ADB debugging via Wi-Fi has been completely improved. Developers can set up wireless debugging functions without cables, and it can remember the previous connection, so it can work faster.
Developers can use the pairing code to start wireless debugging, but Google plans to add QR code synchronization in the upcoming Android Studio version.
Better support for curved/waterfall displays: curved screens look good, but they are often annoying to use. This is because applications and things such as keyboards overflow the edges, making it difficult to interact with these elements.
Now, Google provides an API (similar to the notch/cutout API) that allows developers to specify the interactive area of the screen.
Improved data access auditing: Data access auditing allows developers to better understand how their applications access user information. Google has renamed several APIs for this purpose, so developers who have already used these changes need to be aware of these changes.
Scope storage: To improve security, applications can now only access certain parts of the file system. This will actually “quarantine” the application to better protect your private data. For Android, this is a huge change and has caused quite a stir in the development community. Google acknowledged these issues in its blog post on Android 11, saying it will give developers more time to fully transition to the new system.
Project Mainline enhancements: Android 10 introduces the ability to update the Android section directly through the Play Store. Android 11 will further expand this feature by allowing more parts of Android to get updates without sending a full OTA.
New technologies: Android 11 will be better at using new technologies (including 5G, foldable displays, and low-latency video decoding for game streaming services (such as Google Stadia)). It will also provide better call screening support, deeper image format integration (such as HEIF), and support for Google’s own neural network API.
5G status API: Developers can now quickly check whether users are currently connected to 5G new radios or non-standalone networks.
Synchronized IME conversion: Google introduced a new set of APIs that allow you to synchronize their content with the on-screen keyboard and system bar when animating on and off-screen. Hopefully, this will enable developers to create a more natural, intuitive, and “junk-free” IME transition.
Variable refresh rate: In Android 11, apps and games can now set a preferred frame rate for each window. Now, on devices with variable refresh rates, the system will use the application’s preferred frame rate to select the best refresh rate for the application. You can read more about this new API here.
Improvement of call screening service: Google is adding new APIs so that call screening applications can do more work to prevent users from eavesdropping on the phone. These apps will now be able to report the reason for the call rejection and see if the phone number in the user’s contact is being dialed or dialed.
Recovery after restart: Arranging overnight updates of OTA software can be a tricky business, but Android 11 is improving the process. In Developer Preview 2, the restarted recovery allows the application to access the Credential Encryption (CE) storage after the OTA restarts, without requiring the user to unlock the device first. This means that the application can resume normal functions and receive messages immediately.
Remember, there are a lot of other updates, which are more technical in nature and will never be seen by ordinary users. However, between now and the stable release of Android 11, many new features may pop up in the future Beta version.