What’s new in Android 11.0?

What's new in Android 11.0?
What's new in Android 11.0?

Finally, Android 11.0 is here and is considered to be the eleventh major release of Android, out of the eighteen versions of Android. It came into existence on September 8, 2020, after the four beta releases were successfully tested and received an overwhelming response from the developer as well as the consumers.

As it was a major release and was quite diverse from Android 10; therefore the operating system was named as Android 11.0, and it marked the end of the Android 10 series. The Android 11.0 logo takes reference from this is a Spiral Tap-a music mockumentary film.

Don’t we all get super excited whenever there is a buzz around improvement in the tech world? With so much going around, in the application development industry. Even though there is a wide range of alternative platforms like Flutter, Ionic, React Native, Android is deep-rooted in the development industry. The main reason behind this is Android is backed by Google and is updated quite frequently. In a decade, Android launched around fifteen versions, each version getting better than the other in a very broader sense.

Earlier, it was planned that three subsequent developer preview builds will be released before the first beta release, expected to be in May. Followed by three subsequent beta releases, one every month before the final launch. The motive behind this schedule was to achieve “platform stability” before July 2020, so that the final operating system could be launched in the third quarter of 2020.

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The first Beta version was released on June 10, 2020, followed by the second Beta version on July 8 2020, an intermediate Beta version 2.5 on July 22 and the ultimate widely accepted third Beta version on August 6, 2020. Although the first developer previews were delayed due to Covid-19 breakdown globally, yet Android 11 was released in the third quarter of 2020, as intended.

Top 11 features of Android 11:

  1. Scheduled Dark Theme: Google allows us to schedule a dark theme on our Android devices.
    We can schedule a dark theme, on the basis of the following two parameters:
  • The dark theme can be aligned with the timing of the sunrise or sunset in your time-zone, during sunset automatically dark theme will be enabled.
  • The dark theme can also be scheduled according to the user’s mood or a particular time-slot.

Although, the dark theme feature already made its debut in the Android 10 and created quite a buzz. Contrarily, it was very elementary in comparison to the Android 11 dark theme; it could only toggle between on and off. Google offered the sunrise and sunset auto-detection to the Pixel Phone running on Android 10 earlier in 2020, but Android 11 brings the time-scheduling option to all the devices.

2. Global Chat Head Bubbles: Most of the Facebook Messenger users are familiar with Chat Head Bubbles. Most of the Android users have longed for this feature to be available in other Chat or conversational applications, and now the ingress is finally launched. Google rolled-out the chat bubble feature to the entire application mass, with the release of Android 11.

The chat bubble API was launched beforehand so that as soon as Android 11 hits the market, the tool can be used. This feature enables the users to go for multitasking and you don’t miss any prioritised dialogue. This makes any conversations distinctly visible and accessible. Android Developers can append the Bubbles API available for notifications to enable chat bubbles. Although, this feature could be implemented using Android 11, due to lack of standard libraries Android developers or OEMs didn’t adopt it.

3. Aeroplane Mode & Bluetooth Work Independently: In all the earlier Android versions, Bluetooth was automatically turned off when the user got into the Aeroplane Mode. This snatched the local file transfer privilege from the user. If the user wanted to switch on Bluetooth, he had to do it manually again. While, the not so techy audience couldn’t figure out this control strategy. Considering the exponential increase in the usage of Bluetooth headphones and earphones, Android 11 has eliminated this glitch. Currently, even if the user toggles the Aeroplane Mode a hundred times, Bluetooth works uninterruptedly and efficiently.

4. Session-Based Permissions & Auto-Reset: Android apps were accused of neglecting the privacy and security of the user’s data, as if we gave the location, camera or microphone access to any application, it could trace our location even when we were not using that application. This lead to data breaches and unethical tracking of users data by applets and apps.

Android 10 came up with the third option “only when you’re using the app”, but this was also not quite secure. Contrarily to all the previous Android versions, Android 11 has included the option “Only this time” to the pre-existing set of options for app permissions, which was: {All the time, Only when you’re using the app, Not at all}. The “Only this time” option allows us to give permission for a particular session only. As soon as the session is destroyed, the location, camera, microphone or any other permission granted to the user is withdrawn. This permission could be considered as one-time permission or ad-hoc permission.

Android 11 automatically withdraws permission from the apps that haven’t been used from a longer period of time. Even if you have granted certain runtime permissions a few months earlier manually, Android 11 overwrites it and resets them to default values, that is “Deny”. This clearly indicates that Google has extended the options to provide higher security to users with Android 11.

Image Source: Android Authority

5. Improvised APIs:

  • BiometricPrompt API: Android 11 includes the BiometricPrompt API as a boon for the developers so that they can specify biometric authenticator strength required by their app to unlock or access integrals sections of their apps, this can be highly implemented in money-transaction and sensitive information based apps like the Income Tax application or organisational databases. Google has made this API backwards-compatible (can be synced with earlier versions of Android) by including it in the Jetpack Biometric library.
  • Identity Credential API: This API does the unique job of digital identification. Google is collaborating with various Government agencies to bring the World’s first digital identification platform. This API will issue a unique mobile drivers licence, National ID and Digital ID to each Android user. This API covers two essential aspects, namely security and convenience.

6. In-Built Screen Recording: Earlier, it was anticipated that the screen recording feature will be launched sustained in the Android 10 library. Alas! It was withdrawn, as it was in the Beta phase. But as an answer to the Android users who relied on third-party apps like AZ Screen Recorder, for screen recording, Goggle has included In-built Screen recording in Android 11. With this, there is no need of using third party applications for screen recording, you can capture video screengrabs of your devices and share it.

Image Source: Android Authority

7. Motion Sense Gestures: Although currently, this feature is compatible only with the Pixel chain of devices. This feature uses Artificial Intelligence and motion sensors to detect the user’s hand gestures. You can control the pause/play settings of our music player, by merely making hand gestures from the accessible range. This comes in handy if you are engaged in any alternate task or communication or to organise musical chair games.

8. Pinning Option in the Share Menu: In every update, Android tries to improvise the share menu by adding more and more apps to it, but this becomes even more inconvenient as the handiest app might be present at the end of the list. This provides an unpleasant user-interface, especially if the user is in a rush. If you have a tendency of using a handful of sharing apps, you can pin them into your share-menu. Along with the apps, Android 11 allows you to pin the prioritised recipients.

9. Preserving your Notifications: Many a time we swipe a notification by mistake and continue to look for it for hours, but it totally vanishes. The current stable versions of Android don’t maintain any notification history and it is kind of impossible to access the older notifications. To our surprise, Android 11 comes with a complete distinct segment known as “Notification history”, which displays all the past notifications in sorted order, so that we miss none.

Image Source: Android Authority

10. App Exit Reasons: This is a developer-friendly feature, as whenever an app crashes, a significant part of the developers’ time is lost in finding the reason for app crash. Android 11 generates a detailed report, mentioning the state and cause of App-exit along with all the alternations that occurred after that in the app with their exact time mentioned.

11. Reverse Charging: Android 11 allows you to charge your Android device at the cost of battery percentage of any other Android device. Well, this feature sounds like a scene from any science-fiction movie, but Android 11 has made this possible. With this feature, we can share the battery with our peers that too without any hassle-wirelessly. The future Pixel devices will include reverse wireless charging features and Pixel 5 is going to lead this movement. This splendid feature definitely deserves a “drum-roll”.

The developers who have been eagerly waiting for the release of Android 11 and have their builds ready can follow the below-mentioned steps to release their apps on the Google Play Store, while others can pull up their socks and start working on their contemporary articulated apps that are compatible with the new Android 11.

Image Source: developer.android.com

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By Vanshika Singolia