Google has announced the first developer preview for this year’s Android updated called Android 11.

The company made the shift away from confectionary names last year when Android Q became Android 10.

In a blog post, VP of Engineering, Dave Burke said, “Android has led the way towards the future of mobile, with new technologies like 5G to foldable displays to machine learning built into the core. A hallmark of our approach is a strong developer community that provides early and thoughtful feedback, helping us deliver a robust platform for apps and games that delight billions of users around the world.”

Android 11 focuses on a number of areas including Helpful Innovation (i.e 5G), Privacy and Security, Updates and Compatibility and Polish & Quality.

To help with the rise of 5G networks and connectivity, Android 11 includes enhancements and updates to existing connectivity APIs.

The Dynamic meteredness API allows you to check if a connection is metered or not and whether to offer higher resolution or quality. The Bandwidth estimator API makes it easier to check downstream/upstream bandwidth.

In addition to 5G, Android 11 offers better support for pinhole and waterfall screens including updates to existing display cutout APIs.

Also in Android 11 is a new dedicated conversations section in the notification shade, bubbles that let you keep conversations in view (think Facebook Messenger Chatheads) and you can also insert images into notification replies.

For Privacy, Google is adding a one-time permission option as well as scoped storage.

In terms of security, Android 11 has improved support for biometrics, secure storage and sharing of data and support for identity credentials including mobile driver’s licenses.

Google is also making improvements to its Project Mainline which can allow for system updates to be delivered by the Google Play Store.

The Android 11 Developer Preview is available for the Pixel 2/2 XL, Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL and Pixel 4/4 XL. There will be three developer previews and three betas prior to Android 11’s final release in Q3 2020.

It’s worth noting that this initial release of Android 11 is intended for developers only and not ready for daily or consumer use. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for Android 11 to launch in beta form.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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