Google has released a developer preview of the next updated Android version, called “Android 11” many people thought it should have being called “Android R” for simplicity (and because Google hates desserts now, that’s canon). For the record, it’s called Android 11, though you’ll likely find references to “Android R” here and there. As for a dessert reference, you’re on your own. Whatever it is, Google’s new policy to keep that code-name internal to its engineers. surprisingly, It’s earlier than Google has ever released a version of Android, may be because there are a lot of changes that Android developers will have to contend with recently.
its always interesting when a new operating system drops, because there’s a scramble to dig into the code and find hints of new features that haven’t been announced. One thing we can glean is that Google is continuing its trend of taking inspiration from the iPhone’s privacy and security defaults. It introduced more limited location and storage permissions in Android 10, but in 11 they’re going to get even more stringent.
The release includes system-level updates for lots of new technologies. It has a better awareness of 5G bandwidth and metering, more enhancements for foldable screens, support for SHAKEN/STIR call screen authentication, better low-latency video decoding for streaming game services like Stadia, better HEIF support, a new version of Google’s neural networks API, and more.
Android 11 will also support what Google calls a “dedicated conversation section in the notification shade.” Essentially, Google will put notifications from apps it thinks you’re using to talk to a human at the top of your notifications. In-notification replies will also support replying with images. If those are’t enough options for you, Google is including the nearly infamous chat bubble feature for messaging apps again, so it may finally be a thing that actually gets used this year.
There are to an extent some high-level features that users could notice, but the reason that Google is rolling out this preview earlier than usual is that there are a lot of under-the-hood changes for privacy and security that will affect how Android apps function. hence, Google has been signaling some of these changes for some time, in Android 11, some of them will switch from suggestions to requirements.