Even though the rollout of Android 10 is still ongoing, Google has released a first look at its next iteration — Android 11. With the developer's build of the new update now out, let's have a look at what's on the horizon for Android users.
New Android updates tend to promise innovation and fancy new features. But in reality they're mostly becoming comprised of minor tweaks and updates to existing features. With the Developer Preview of Android 11 now out, we can see what Google has in store for us and, as expected, it's a continuation of this eras offering.
Still, tweaks still offer greater convenience and user experience, which is always a plus.
Android 11 New Features
According to 9to5Google, the developer build comes with a number of changes though it should be noted these are not necessarily the fun user-focused ones you're expecting.
"With Android 11 we’re keeping our focus on helping users take advantage of the latest innovations, while continuing to keep privacy and security a top priority," Google's vice president of engineering Dave Burke said in a blog post. "We've added multiple new features to help users manage access to sensitive data and files, and we've hardened critical areas of the platform to keep the OS resilient and secure."
What this means in real life is the addition of heightened security features such as platform hardening and an increase in biometric security capability. In terms of features you might actually see with the upcoming update, however, some helpful ones are on the way.
There's set to be a new option in regards to privacy permissions. Keeping up with the iPhone series, Android 11 should have the option to select one-off permissions for certain service within apps. For example, if you usually turn off location settings for all apps but then you need to suddenly use Google Maps, you'll be able to turn it on while you use the app for a single time.
In social media chatting updates, Google's introducing Bubbles — the feature available with Facebook's Messenger — so a number of other apps can introduce this capability. Notifications for conversations will also get their own space in the pull-down notifications bar, separate from the rest of your alerts. Finally, you'll also be able to respond to chat notifications with pasting an image without ever opening up the app. This is pretty handy if you're wanting to share an image quickly while you're multi-tasking.
The rest are more relevant for app developers and aren't likely to be noticed by the average user but check out the Android Developers Blog if you're curious.
How To Install Android 11
If you're interested in trying it out, you'll need a Google Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4 or 4 XL firstly. Developer previews are usually quite unstable so they're not recommended for long-term use. If you're still keen though, 9to5Google has a step-by-step guide to get you started with it.
In 2019, Apple pushed out iOS 13 and Google launched Android 10—both polished, mature mobile operating systems that offer just about every feature you could want... or do they? We’ve got some ideas about how Apple and Google might go further with these OSes in 2020.