Android 11 is already available in beta on Pixels and a handful of smartphones. Android 11 brings a host of new features, including native video screenshots, a one-time permission system and an automated dark mode. We take stock of the new features, the release date and the smartphones that will be compatible with Android 11.
Android 11 is the next version of the mobile operating system – the second that is only publicly known by its version name. Internally, the system still retains a candy name, since engineers affectionately call it “Red Velvet Cake”.
📆 When will Android 11 be available?
Google has just put the 2nd Android 11 public beta online. The launch of the final version will take place in September, probably on September 8, 2020 at the same time as the Pixel 5 release. For more information, see the deployment schedule of Android 11.
⚙ What is new in Android 11?
Google has already discussed the main new features of Android 11 for developerss. The most important new features that mainly concern Android users have been condensed below. In the coming months, Google will be lifting the veil on more additions and changes.
Allow access to geolocation only once
Like iOS 13, Android 11 introduces a single-use authorization system. Users will be able to choose to share their geographic location with a third-party application once. The next time the app wants to collect your location, it will have to ask for your permission again. Same story as getting access to your phone’s camera or microphone. Similarly, the Play Store will only allow apps to request access to your location if it is essential to “Perform their main function”. Google already has similar restrictions in place for apps that collect text messages and call history.
Restrictive permissions extended to other resources
Another important point about permissions, restrictive permissions, which allow access to a resource only when the application is active (in the foreground), will be extended. In Android 10, they only concerned access to location. In Android 11, they will also be compatible with photo sensors (including the selfie sensor) and with microphones. The aim is to prevent any unauthorized collection of information.
In a related vein, Google introduced a new smarter permissions management option in Android 11 Developers Preview 3. A new tweak lets Android 11 automatically revoke permissions for apps you don’t use. more so as to protect your personal data, and enhance the security of your smartphone.
Android 11 adapts to new screen types
With Android 11, Google is adapting its mobile OS to new screen designs that have appeared on the market, such as perforated panels or very curved screens (Waterfall Display). The firm provides a programming interface that allows you toexploit the specificities of these screens. Concretely, future Android applications will be better optimized for screens of this kind.
After the release of the first smartphones with a folding screen (Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X), this version of Android will natively support its new panel formats and devices that change their handling on the fly. Android 11 will be able to detect if a hinge is open and closed, as well as the opening angle in order to adapt the interface according to the intended use by the manufacturer.
Another new feature supported by Android is the high refresh rates. Android 11 will be the first version natively compatible with screens 90 Hz and 120 Hz, that is, panels that display 90 or 120 frames per second.
Native video screenshots
Android 11 natively incorporates a video screenshot system. The option is directly accessible in the quick settings of your smartphone in the ” screen recording “.
A conversations category in notifications
Google is adding a section dedicated to conversations in the Android action center. All your current messages and conversations will be listed in this section. In addition, Android 11 will allow developers to place your current conversations in bubbles, like Facebook Messenger. All messaging applications can take advantage of this system, which is very popular with users.
An automatic dark mode
As on iOS 13, Android 11 will automatically switch from light mode to dark mode and vice versa. This new option allows you to activate the mode according to sunrise or sunset or according to preset times.
Android 11 prepares for the arrival of 5G
Android 11 provides developers with programming interfaces to determine if a user is connected to a 5G network. Depending on the network to which your phone is connected, the applications will adapt their mobile data consumption. A 5G indicator is also provided in the operating system. Developers can use it to display connectivity in applications.
By the way, Android 11 is shaking up the nomenclature a bit at the risk of erasing the line between 4G and 5G. Wireless networks will look like this in Android 11:
- LTE (4G): 4G or LTE
- LTE with signal aggregation (4G +): 4G + or LTE +
- LTE Advanced pro (4G ++): 5Ge
- 5G sub-6GHz: 5G
- 5G mmWave: 5G +
Android updates via the Play Store
Determined to speed up the deployment of Android updates, Google is looking to simplify the process. For this, the company updates more and more elements of the Android system through the Play Store. With Android 11, 22 Android modules can be updated via the store, compared to only 10 elements in Android 10. With Android 11, Google also wants to systematize the installation of updates in the background in order to make the procedure smoother. ‘user.
Universal playback controls in the Quick Settings panel
Android 11 changes the placement of playback controls. Until then, notifications allowed content to be paused – when certain applications were running. This system is completely replaced by permanent and universal reading controls directly in the quick settings panel in which we also find, for example, the buttons to activate or deactivate WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode. This media player is also accessible via the locked screen of the smartphone. Via this revised player, it is possible to switch from one audio output to another, for example.
📱Which smartphones are compatible with Android 11?
Initially, only the Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were compatible with the update. However, other smartphones have since joined Developers Preview 1, notably the OnePlus 8 / Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 10 / Pro. Other smartphones like the Poco F2 Pro, Oppo’s Find X2 Pro or the Realme X50 Pro are also expected to follow in the coming weeks.
For more information on this subject, we invite you to consult the complete list of compatible Android 11 smartphones.