Android 11 vs Android 10: What’s new?


Android 10 might not even be running on 10% of the Android devices as of now, but we are already progressing towards Android 11. The first Android 11 Developer Preview landed in the middle of February. And, Google surprised us with a fourth Developer Preview on May 6.

The company has included several new features in the early builds of the OS. However, we are not encouraging you to install the Android 11 preview on your phone just yet. You are likely to run into bugs and performance issues.

So, let us take a look at what we can expect from the final build of Android 11.

Android 11

Native screen recording

Google has been playing around with this feature since the early builds of Android 10. Now, a new Screen Record icon is present in the Quick Settings selections on top of the display. We expect the feature to make it to the final version this time around.

Chat Bubbles in Android 11

Bubbles are basically like Facebook Messenger chat heads but for other apps. The feature was actually launched with Android 10. However, Google is finally bringing it to the forefront. It works with apps like Telegram and WhatsApp just fine.

The feature was introduced with Android 7 Nougat. However, the recent Android sharing menu has been a mess. In a bid to counter this, Android 11 will allow you to pin four apps you share to the most frequently, to the top of share menu.

Mute notifications while video recording

Notifications can be irritating at times, especially when you are trying to click cute pictures of your pet. With Android 11, Google is introducing a new camera API called setCameraAudioRestriction(). It will enable developers to allow their apps to mute sounds, vibrations, or both while the camera app is open.

Airplane mode no longer kills Bluetooth

Up until Android 10, turning on Airplane mode would also kill the Bluetooth. However, it’s changing with Android 11. Now, Bluetooth stays on when Airplane mode is activated.

Notification History

Android doesn’t allow you to review the notifications you have dismissed. However, that’s changing with Android 11. The new OS will you to effectively replicate all the notifications you dismissed in the Notification History feature.

Revoking permissions for unused apps

There is a new feature within the “App Permissions” section of each app. Enabling the option will automatically revoke all permissions for the app if you haven’t used it for “a few months.”

Android 11

Variable refresh rate

High refresh rate displays have been trending lately. And, Android 11 will let you set a preferred frame rate for each window of apps and games. On devices that support variable refresh rates, the system will use the app’s preferred frame rate.

Android 10 lets apps grab your location, microphone, or camera data only while the app is open. Now, with Android 11 you will be able to approve those permissions just a single time and the OS will revoke the permission later.

Resume on boot

This feature lets applications access Credential Encrypted (CE) storage after the OTA reboot without the user needing to unlock the device first. In layman terms, it means that the apps can resume normal functionality and receive messages right away.

Improved Project Mainline in Android 11

Android 10 brought the ability to update parts of Android right through the Play Store. Now, the upcoming Android OS will allow even more parts of Android to get updates without needing to send out a full OTA.

Better curved display support

You know how apps and things like keyboards spill over the edges on curved displays? It will change with the upcoming OS as it will let developers specify the interactive area of a screen.

New tech

Android 11 will cope with new technologies including foldable devices, 5G and in a better way. It also includes low-latency video decoding for game streaming services such as Google Stadia.

Scoped storage

Scoped storage was also present in the beta builds of Android 10. Basically, in the interest of better security, the system allows app to only have access to certain parts of the filesystem. Google says it has acknowledged the issues and will give more time to developers to fully transition to the new system.

The power button menu in Android 11 will predominantly be occupied by quick controls for connected smart home devices, including a live camera feed.

More Android 11 features in the latest developer preview include:

  • Select button in the recent apps overview. The Developer Preview 3 revamped the recent apps overview by adding a “screenshot” and “share” button. Now, the latest Developer Preview adds another “select” button.
  • Resizeable picture-in-picture windows. The Android 11 Developer Preview 4 lets you resize a picture-in-picture window by simply tapping right outside one of the four corners and then dragging inward or outward.
  • More icon shapes in Pixel Themes. Google introduced the Pixel Themes app alongside Pixel 4. Now, it is receiving two new icon shape options: Hexagon and Flower.
  • The preview shows notification counts. You will now see a number next to the expand arrow in case if you have multiple notifications. It is easy to see how many messages you have pending to be read in the conversation.
  • Pixel 4-specific new Motion Sense option. The Motion Sense feature on Pixel 4 hasn’t evolved much since its debut. Now, Google is adding a new way to use the feature. You can now tap the air above the phone to pause your music. It allows you to hover your hand over the phone to pause a track, and hover it once again to start playing it again.

Android 11 release date

Google has outlined three Android 11 beta builds that it expects to release over the coming months.

  • Beta 1: Initial beta-quality release, over-the-air update to early adopters who enroll in Android Beta.
    Expected launch date: June 3, 2020
  • Beta 2: Platform Stability milestone. Final APIs and behaviors. Play publishing opens.
    Expected launch date: Early July 2020
  • Beta 3: Release candidate build.
    Expected launch date: Early August 2020

It is expected to release for devices soon after.

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Brian Jones

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