Android 11 Developer Preview 2: What are Top New Features?

The first Android 11 preview done on February 19 got the tech world excited and on its feet. Based on the reviews on Android 11 Beta’s first release, the next milestone preview of the new Android OS version is out. Android 11 features include stupendous and seamless 5G connectivity along with exciting UI, faster messaging experience, and faster keyboard.

Android 11 Developer Preview 2: What are Top New Features

As expert Android developers, it is important for us to learn about the latest developments in Android OS to provide the best possible services to our clients. The first preview of Android 11 gave an insight into some of the most prominent features. The second developer’s preview on March 18, 2020, had unique features and fixation of bugs as compared to the previous builds.

Thus without much ado, let us dive deep and get to know some of the important features.

Understanding the new Android 11 features for the developers

Improved Messaging Services

Android 11’s new features have three core updates that will play an important role in enhancing your messaging experience. There will be chat bubbles that will hide the present conversation with the little bubbles on the side of your screen. In order to go to the specific conversation, you just have to tap on the bubbles.

The Bubbles API is for all messaging apps, and Android is encouraging all the Android developers to adopt it. There is a dedicated section for all your messaging notifications that will offer you real-time and instant access to all the conversations.

The Android 11 features will make it possible for your message to stand out from other notifications. Moreover, you can send images directly to the conversation from the notification shade itself.

In-built screen recorder

For the past few Android releases, the developers and the users have been patiently waiting for the in-built screen recorder feature. Android 11’s new feature has the answer to this. In the Developer Preview 2, there is an added screen recorder which has polished UI and toggles. These features can be used for recording audio in high quality.

During the early Android 10 builds, we saw the traces of an in-built screen recorder, but it is nowhere near to the finesse that Android 11 DP 2 has to offer. With Android 11, it looks as if Google is all set to ship this feature for the masses and make Android 11 even grander and user friendly.

5G connectivity compatibility

Android 11 new features has an added 5G state API, which enables the developers to check if the user is on a 5G new radio network or a non-standalone network.  The 5G state API will let you highlight your 5G’s experience or the branding whenever the new user is connected.

Android 11 has a vital ‘Dynamic Meterdness API’ that ensures that the process of 5G connectivity to your app is smooth. The Dynamic Meterdness API will enable your Android 11 powered phone to take full advantage of the 5G technology.

The API will detect if you are connected to the 5G signal, empowering you to enjoy high-quality graphics and videos. 5G technology has immense potential, which can be used to serve the end-user, and the API will play an essential role in ensuring that the user uses the technology to full advantage.

Improved call screening

Google has added a new feature in Android 11 that will help the end-users to manage robocalls. The new API will support the call screening apps to be much more vigilant towards prank calls. The apps will verify the in-coming calls and can automatically report a call rejection reason.

Improved call screening as a part of Android 11’s new features will customize the post-call screen. It will let the users perform actions such as spamming or blocking the contacts so that the prank callers will not disturb in the future.

Scoped Storage updates

With a view of increasing the security, in Android 11’s new features, the mobile apps will have access to only certain parts in your mobile phone filesystem. This is a massive change done by Google and is among the most talked about aspect in the developers’ community as of now.

Foreground services for camera and microphones

foregroundServiceType was introduced in Android 10 with a view to ensure more accountability for specific use-cases. Now as per the Android 11 developer preview 2, the services will have two more added types for ‘camera’ and ‘microphones’. Therefore, adding the value will be required if you wish to access the camera or the microphone from foreground service.

Better software updates

The user will have a better experience while updating their software in Android 11. Android 11’s new features include ‘resume on reboot’ function, the apps can receive messages right away as they are able to access Credential Encrypted storage after the OTA reboot.

Moreover, the apps will still support the Device boot to access Device Encrypted. To try the ‘resume by reboot’ function, just tap on the time that you have decided, and the mobile device will work accordingly.

Adaptive OS to different types of displays

Displays have always been the area in Android OS that have had the largest scope of improvement. Folding phones are proving to be popular in 2020, and thus to provide exciting smartphone display experience to its users, Android needs to step up its game.

Android Developer Preview 2 has a ‘hinge angle sensor API,’ which allows the mobile apps to quickly detect the hinge of the folding mobile devices. It gives a clear indication to the android app developers so that they can adapt their apps according to the hinge and create an experience for the end-users. For example, Google Duo changes its UI for the Moto RAZR flip phone when you half fold the phone on the Z flip.

Android 11’s new features also provide smartphone displays with better refresh rates. The displays will not take much time to refresh at 90Hz or 120 Hz, and with Android 11, the mobile app developers can take advantage of the powerful displays.

Moreover, Android 11 Developer preview also introduces features where the android app developers can select the refresh rate at which their mobile application should run. For example, if the developers think that their mobile app looks best at 60Hz, they can have the phone’s display change its refresh rate when the user is using that particular mobile app. The developers can make use of the API to set this which is available in both SDK and NDK.

Better handling of app permissions

Android 11’s new features have kept the legacy of better handling of app permissions, which began with Android 10. So, in Android 11, whenever the app asks you sensitive information such as location, contacts, etc. you can choose to grant that permission only on a one-time basis. The mobile app can use the permission only until you are using the app, and as soon as you come out of it, no further permission to access the sensitive information will be granted.

Google understands that giving undue access to the apps will be a breach of your privacy. Thus with the Android 11 developer preview, we are sure that it is set to give more power to the users so that they can have more control over their sensitive information.

Systematic IME Transitions

Android 11 has a new set of APIs which will let you synchronize your mobile app’s content with Input Method Editor (IME). The APIs will animate the on and off-screen, thus making it easier to create jank-free IME transitions. Moreover, the apps can control the IME and system bars through WindowinsetAnimationController API. Android 11 will have frame-perfect transitions as there will be notifications for the per-frame changes by the new insets animation listener.

New controls in Neural Network API

Android 11 will have a computationally efficient version of nodes within the neural network. This activation function will allow faster training time with higher accuracy which can be used across a myriad of tasks. Moreover, the new improved control ops will enable advanced machine learning models which will be supporting the branching and loops. The new execution controls will minimize the latency for the common usage.

The trailer looks exciting

Android 11 developer preview gives you a fair idea about what the actual OS version will look like important features that can be included in the apps. This is developers preview version and not for the Android Users in general. With this it will be a great time to take a peek at when it becomes accessible and ready to use for everyone

Bonus point – Timeline of the Android 11 release date

Bonus point - Timeline of the Android 11 release date

According to the timeline shared along with the developers’ preview of Android 11, there will be a third developers’ preview in April which will determine the incremental update for stability and performance. After that, the first beta version is expected to release in May 2020. There will be 2 beta updates after that concentrating on platform stability, one in June and the last beta version will be as we step into the third quarter of 2020, that is, a little before the final release of Android 11.

Thus, this year Google is planning a grand release of Android 11 with smooth transition for the users by coming up with 3 developers preview and 3 betas before the final one.


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