First Android 11 Developer Preview released

[German]Google released the first developer preview of Android 11 a few hours ago. This is the Android version that is expected to be released in autumn 2020 with new Google pixel devices.


The first developer preview was announced by Google in this blog post. It will be made available earlier this year to allow developers to familiarize themselves with new features such as 5G, foldable displays or machine learning that are built into the new Android 11.

New: 5G features

Building a 5G network with higher speeds and lower latency for more users also requires appropriate devices that support this. In Android 11, Google intends to improve and update the existing connectivity APIs so that you can take advantage of the higher 5G speed

New screen types

Device manufacturers are constantly bringing out new form factors and displays for their devices. Google has extended support for these different screen types in Android 11 with APIs so developers can optimize applications.

Pinhole camera and waterfall screens (the edges of the display are rounded so that they are no longer visible, like a waterfall) can be managed with the existing APIs for the screen section. Thanks to a new API, developers can use the entire waterfall screen, including the edges, in apps.

Privacy and permissions

In the area of privacy, there will also be innovations in terms of controlling what apps are allowed to do. Already in Android 10 there was the permission option "While the application is in use". This allowed users to have more precise control over location tracking and to restrict access to the location in the background.


In Android 11, developers continue to focus on user privacy and introduce new permissions options, storage area updates, and more. For example, there will be temporary permissions (one-time permissions). For the most sensitive types of data-not just location, but the device's microphone and camera-users can now grant temporary access with a one-time permission. This permission means that applications can access the data until the user stops using the app. The next time the app is accessed, the permission is requested again.

One-time permission dialog in Android 11.(Source: Google)

Further new things

Google will provide the Neural Networks API (NNAPI) in Android 11. This enables the execution of computationally intensive machine learning operations on Android devices.  In Android 11, the operations and controls available to developers have been enhanced.

Google developers are also introducing changes in Android 11 to allow communication with friends. Speech bubbles are a way to keep conversations in view and accessible while users multi-task on their phones. Messaging and chat applications should use the Bubbles API for notifications to enable this in Android 11. Users should be able to find their ongoing conversations with people immediately in their favorite applications. In addition, the ability to include images in notification replies will be added.

Another innovation is the introduction of Scoped storage, which is designed to better protect apps and data on external storage media from unauthorized access. The developers also promise new security functions in the area of biometrics, hardening of security-critical operating system functions, secure storage and sharing of data and login information.

Improvements in updates and compatibility are also promised. Since Android 10, Google has been working on providing system updates (Project Mainline) via Google Play. In Android 11, 12 new updateable modules have been added, bringing the total number of Android modules that can be updated via Google Play Services to 22.

The preview is available on the Android 11 developer page, with the downloadable image available for Google's smartphone models Pixel 2, 3, 3a or 4. As expected, the first Pixel devices will no longer be supported in Android 11.

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