Android 11 are focus on helping users take advantage of the latest innovations, while continuing to keep privacy and security a top priority. Android 11 added multiple new features to help users manage access to sensitive data and files, and Android 11 hardened critical areas of the platform to keep the OS resilient and secure. For developers, Android 11 has a ton of new capabilities for your apps, like enhancements for foldables and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, machine learning, and more.
Android 11: Top 11 Features Introduced in First Developer Preview
1. 5G experiences
5G brings consistently faster speeds and lower latency to more users around the world. With 5G you can extend your Wi-Fi app experiences –
2. Pinhole and waterfall screens
Apps can manage pinhole screens and waterfall screens using the existing display cutout APIs. If you want, a new API lets your app use the entire waterfall screen including the edges, with insets to help you manage interaction near the edges.
3. Insert images into notification replies
If your app supports image copy/paste, you can now let users insert assets directly into notification inline replies to enable richer communication as well as in the app itself.
Bubbles are a way to keep conversations in view and accessible while multi-tasking on their phones. Messaging and chat apps should use the Bubbles API on notifications to enable this in Android 11.
5. One-time permission
For the most sensitive types of data – not just location but also for the device microphone and camera – users can now grant temporary access through a one-time permission. This permission means that apps can access the data until the user moves away from the app, and they must then request permission again for the next access. More information here.
6. Scoped storage
We’ve continued our work to better protect app and user data on external storage, and made further improvements to help developers migrate more easily. We want to take a moment to acknowledge everyone in the Android community who gave us such helpful feedback – thank you so much for helping us make the platform better!
biometrics support to meet the needs of a wider range of devices. BiometricPrompt now supports three authenticator types with different levels of granularity — strong, weak, and device credential. We’ve also decoupled the BiometricPrompt flow from the app’s Activity lifecycle to make it easier to integrate with various app architectures, and to improve the transaction UI.
8. Secure storage and sharing of data
Apps can now share data blobs easily and more safely with other apps through a BlobstoreManager. The Blob store is ideal for use-cases like sharing ML models among multiple apps for the same user.
9. Call screening service improvements
Call-screening apps can now do more to help users. Apps can get the incoming call’s STIR/SHAKEN verification status as part of the call details, and they can customize a system-provided post call screen to let users perform actions such as marking a call as spam or adding to contacts.
10. Bokeh modes
Apps can use metadata tags to enable bokeh modes on camera capture requests in devices that support it. A still image mode offers highest quality capture, while a continuous mode ensures that capture keeps up with sensor output, such as for video capture.
11. New Motion Sense gestures
With Android 11, the Pixel 4 has reportedly received a pair of new air gestures that take advantage of the phone’s Soli radar chip. Pixel 4 users can now pause or play a song by just tapping (or mimicking a tap gesture) in the air above the phone. Earlier, Pixel 4 only allowed users to wave above the phone to change the track.
12. Schedule Dark Mode
The name says it all. Android 11 lets users schedule when Dark Mode is enabled or disabled, based either on the default sunset and sunlight time preset, or by creating a custom schedule. This works similar to how scheduling works for Night Light in Android 10.
Get started with Android 11
The Developer Preview has everything you need to try the Android 11 features, test your apps, and give us feedback. To get started, download and flash a device system image to a Pixel 2 / 2 XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, or Pixel 4 / 4 XL device. Additionally, you can set up the Android Emulator through Android Studio. The Android Emulator running Android 11 system images includes experimental support to run ARM 32-bit & 64-bit binary app code directly on 64-bit x86 Android Emulator system images.
Lastly, for broader testing, GSI images are also available. Next, update your Android Studio environment with the Android 11 Preview SDK and tools – you can do this from inside Android Studio. See the setup guide for complete details. To take advantage of the latest Android Studio features, we recommend installing the latest version of Android Studio from the canary channel.