On 8th September 2020, the official Android 11 version was released for developers and Google Pixel users, here are some of the major changes you are to expect.
In a blog post announcing the new software, Stephanie Cuthbertson, Director, Product Management at Google pointed out that Android 11 has three focus themes; People, Controls and Privacy. The software is available to Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4, and 4a devices.
For its users, Android 11 will have a dedicated section at the top of the shade for conversation notifications. It will enable people to open conversations as bubbles, create conversation shortcuts on the home screen, or set a reminder.
The software will also bring conversation bubbles that improve multitasking. Enhanced autofill apps and Input Method Editors (IMEs) that offers context-specific entities.
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In terms of controls, Android 11 has new features that make it faster and easier for users to access and control their connected devices. Its new media controls enable quick and convenient switching between output device for both audio and video content.
For permissions, it uses one-time permissions that allows users to grant apps access to microphone, camera, location and so on for just one time. This makes the app have to request permission again, thus, enhancing privacy.
In addition, background location access needs additional steps as well. Android 11 will also come with auto-reset features that erases permissions of apps that have not been used for a long time. Scoped storage means better protection for apps and user data on external storage.
Google Play system updates offer updates for core OS components, it adds; “In Android 11, we more than doubled the number of updatable modules, including 12 new modules that will help improve privacy, security, and consistency for users and developers.”
Also, developers can leverage the BiometricPrompt API to specify the biometric authenticator strength that their app requires. Google is adding backward compatibility as well. Identity Credential API allows the software unlock cases like; mobile drivers licences, National ID, and Digital ID.
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