Google Turns Android up to 11

Feb 21, 2020
By: Marissa Camilli

Google has released a super-early developers’ preview of their Android 11 operating system which although far from complete will give Android developers an insight into where the tech giant wants to take the world’s most popular mobile platform in the coming years.

The preview can be downloaded from the Android 11 Developer site (this is not a consumer-facing product and will only work on Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 devices). As with previous iterations of the Android OS, Google is inviting developers to solicit their feedback on the new product and promises further development before rolling out 11 to the public.

So What’s Inside Android 11?

The Android eco-system is entering an exciting period of change. Devices are not only getting faster (5G), they are also dramatically altering their appearance. Whether your device has a pinhole screen, a waterfall display or can literally fold in half, Google wants to make sure the Android OS delivers the best possible experience across all devices.

From this early preview, were excited about:

  • Improved 5G Experience: 2020 is the year when 5G will finally be available to smartphone users in many parts of the world. Android 11 will help smartphone users make the best use of this increase in speed while ensuring their devices don’t bankrupt them with huge data costs. Android 11 will check that a user is on an unmetered connection before opening the floodgates to massive flows of data and potential increased costs or limited functionality for the user.
  • Improved Communications: Google is making big improvements to the way people use their smartphones to communicate with each other. A dedicated conversation section will help people instantly find their ongoing conversations across their favorite apps while “Bubbles” will keep conversations in view while multitasking with other apps.
  • Improved Screen Use: Android 11 will ensure that device owners can enjoy the same levels of app functionality across the ever-changing range of screen types available to Android device users. If desired, a new API lets apps use the entire waterfall screen including the edges, with insets to help you manage interaction near the edges.
  • Improved Permissions: When apps previously sought permission to access specific functionally on your device, it was very much a case of all or nothing. Android 11 changes this to a more flexible system, allowing users to make better use of their apps while not impacting their long-term privacy. Users can now grant apps temporary access to things like their smartphone’s camera or microphone through one-time permission. This permission means that apps can access the data or functionality until the user leaves the app.
  • Improved Security: There will be a whole raft for security upgrades with Android 11. These will include increased biometric support, secure storage and sharing of data, and support for secure storage and retrieval of verifiable identification documents, such as ISO 18013-5 compliant Mobile Driving Licenses.

To learn more about what Google has planned for the forthcoming Android 11 release and to stay up to date with the latest developments as Google rolls more features out, visit the Android Developers blog.

There’s clearly a lot to get excited about the Android 11 release and the possibilities it opens up for the entire Android ecosystem. The team at Digital Turbine is already getting their teeth into the new operating system and ready to talk with developers about how they can optimize their app development projects to maximize the opportunity from innovations across the entire range of Android devices.

To learn how Digital Turbine can help you pre-load your app on the latest Android devices, reaching an engaged and potentially lucrative new audience talk to one of our app marketing experts today.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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