The eleventh major release of the Android operating system is coming in the third quarter of 2020. Sadly, the dessert names were already discontinued, so Android 11 will be called just that—Android 11.
The Android 11 beta came to the public in as early as June 2020. While experts are still tinkering on this, Google released the second beta version of the operating system in July. We are expecting Google to release the third beta version by August before it finally releases the official version.
So, what is in store for all of us?
As far as the official Android 11 version is concerned, Google provided the public with four developer previews. Three of these are beta versions, and one is the final build.
You can install the Android 11 OS now, but only if you are a developer. You have to do this so you can adjust your app codes accordingly.
If you are not a developer, and if you do not want to install the beta version, you can still install the third beta version just to see how it works. However, you need to enroll in the beta program and be approved.
What about the official release date?
Word on the grapevine indicates that the official release date is going to be on September 8, 2020. This information was leaked on YouTube. However, Google said later that this information is wrong. Google clarified that the official release date is not yet identified as the beta tests are still ongoing.
What are the new features of the Android 11 OS?
Here are a few that we know of:
- Better UX – the update is going to introduce what Google calls “conversations.” This is a chat and messaging feature, which is presented as a pop-up overlay. The feature has the capacity to bypass all other notifications, even if the notification is turned off.
The “conversations” feature stores history for the past 24 hours. The overlay is going to have a menu overlay, which you can use to control smart home devices.
- Accessibility update – on this upgrade, this feature will not be able to recognize screen context, which means that apart from your voice command, it is going to think how that is related to what app is currently open on your phone.
- Platform for 5G – the new release is 5G compatible, and it can detect 5G connectivity. Once it does, it enhances the performance of apps that are made for 5G. The OS is also capable of handling the tasks required by devices that fold.
- Privacy – the new update allows you to automatically resume your apps after an automatic update is completed.
The OS also grants one-time access to the camera and other apps. Now, you can also choose if you want to grant access to an app that wants to use your camera, microphone or location, and you can do this every time you open the app.
Not all phones will get the Android 11 once it gets deployed. For the first upgrade, the phones that will get it are Pixel 2 to 4 and their XL variants.
Do not despair. When the beta version was released, several phone companies also launched their beta testing, such as OPPO and OnePlus.
Finally, this new update introduces the new media playback widget. If an app is playing media on your device, it will create a widget in your quick settings menu. This widget also carries the background of the song’s background art.
Overall, there are many more other features that will make Android 11 a better and safer OS. The updates happening this 3rd quarter are all geared towards customer experience, privacy, and security.