Android 11 Release Date & New Feature Rumours

The public beta of Android 11 is due early next month, but until then the third Developer Preview gives us a first look at what's new in Android 11.

The third instalment of the Android 11 Developer Preview is now available, with the first Public Beta scheduled to arrive on 3 June. You'll be able to tune into the live-streamed announcement at 11am ET (4pm GMT) via the video embedded above.
In the most recent release the majority of the changes are cosmetic, with changes to how wallpapers are selected, larger notification preference windows, the volume menu renamed to ‘sound’, and more.

There are also some minor changes to other parts of the interface, including the ability to dismiss any notification including ongoing notifications, an undo gesture if an app is unintentionally closed, and the ability to adjust back gesture sensitivity for both sides of the display independently.

It follows on from March's release of the second Developer Preview, which added new 5G APIs for compatible devices, improvements to Google’s call screening feature and angle detection for foldables. Also added in the build were network APIs, foreground services updates for the camera and mic variable refresh rate support and lots of other technical processes that run in the background.

In this article we explain when Android 11 is coming out and when you'll actually be able to install it, as well as new features to expect from the new software.

When Is Android 11 Coming Out?
With the release of Android 7 Nougat back in 2016 Google brought forward its release schedule for Android operating system updates, for the first time unveiling the final consumer release ahead of its October hardware event. Since then we've seen Android updates arrive in August, with a 3 September launch in 2019 the sole exception to this rule.

This earlier schedule has necessitated Google also rethinking when it first releases code to developers, and having previously remained tight-lipped until the public beta release during its annual developers conference - Google I/O - we have now got used to seeing the Developer Preview go out in March.

As it happens, Google I/O 2020 has been cancelled over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, including the previously anticipated online event. Google has now confirmed it will announce the Public Beta in a live-streamed event on 3 June.

With earlier access to the Developer Preview of Android 11 in February, Google could be looking to once again shift things forward, perhaps to as early as July 2020. The timeline it has set out for future updates and betas certainly seems to confirm this, though Google has committed only to a Q3 2020 release. We will see three Developer Previews and three public betas before the final release.


Previous Android OS Release Dates
Android 5 Lollipop
  • First Beta: 25 June 2014
  • Full Consumer Release: 12 November 2014
Android 6 Marshmallow
  • First Beta: 28 May 2015
  • Final Consumer Release: 5 October 2015
Android 7 Nougat
  • First Beta: 9 March 2016
  • Public Beta (Beta 3): 18 May 2016, with updates on 15 June and 18 July
  • Final Consumer Release: 22 August 2016
Android 8 Oreo
  • Developer Preview: 21 March 2017
  • Public Beta: 17 May 2017, with updates on 8 June and 24 July
  • Final Consumer Release: 21 August 2017
Android 9 Pie
  • Developer Preview: 7 March 2018
  • Public Beta: 8 May 2018, with updates on 6 June, 2 July and 25 July
  • Final Consumer Release: 6 August 2018
Android 10
  • Developer Preview: 13 March 2019
  • Public Beta (Beta 3): 7 May 2019, with updates on 5 June, 10 July and 7 August
  • Final Consumer Release: 3 September 2019
Android 11
  • Developer Preview 1: 19 February 2020
  • Developer Preview 2: 18 March 2020
  • Developer Preview 3: 23 April 2020
  • Public Beta 1: 3 June 2020
  • Public Beta 2: June/July 2020
  • Public Beta 3 (Release Candidate Build): Q3 2020 
  • Final Consumer Release: Q3 2020
When Can I Get Android 11?
Although the Developer Preview is out now, it is not recommended for consumers and is therefore available only as a manual or flash update. If you have a Google Pixel phone (2/2 XL/3/3 XL/3a/3a XL/4/4 XL) and are super-keen to be first to get your hands on it then we can show you how to install Android 11, but we would seriously advise waiting for the public beta that will likely arrive in May.

How to Get Android 11 Now
Android 11 isn't officially expected to arrive for a few months yet but you don't need to wait to try out some of its new features. Here's how to download and install the third Android 11 Developer Preview now.

It feels as though we've only just started to enjoy Android 10 in all its glory and yet those curious can already sample what its successor, Android 11, has in store.

There are (as often with developer previews and beta releases) caveats to getting your hands on Android 11 in its current state, and doing so isn't without risk.

For the time being, the Android 11 developer preview 3 is available only to those sporting a Pixel 2 or newer. Unlike last year's Android 10 beta, in its current state, only Google's own smartphone line is supported. This might change as subsequent preview releases arrive but right now you need one of the eight devices listed below to participate.

How to download Android 11
If you're happy with all the details (check our FAQ below before you pull the trigger) then here's how to download Android 11 on your phone. Note that subsequent betas will be easier to install but at this early stage, the preview release for your chosen device has to be manually flashed in order to run.
  • Back up your phone – Settings > System > Backup
  • Enable Developer Options on your Pixel by heading to Settings > About phone > tap your build number seven times to activate developer mode
  • Enable USB Debugging by going to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options > Turn 'USB Debugging' on
  • If you haven't already, install the Android SDK Platform-Tools for your chosen operating system (Windows, MacOS or Linux) in order to gain access to the 'fastboot' utility
  • Download the Android 11 system image for your chosen device and unzip it in a safe directory
  • Connect your device to your computer via USB
  • The downloaded image will contain a file called 'flash-all.sh' ('flash-all.bat' on Windows). Make sure to add the fastboot tool to your PATH environment variable so that the 'flash-all' script can find it.
  • Start your device in fastboot mode by using the adb tool. Execute 'adb reboot bootloader'
  • Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device
  • If needed, unlock the device's bootloader by using: fastboot flashing unlock
  • Your Pixel will show a confirmation screen. (This also erases all data on the device)
  • Execute the 'flash-all script'. This installs the appropriate bootloader, baseband firmware(s) and Android 11
  • Your device will then restart. Boot it into fastboot mode again and lock your bootloader using the 'fastboot flashing lock' command
What Phones Can Get Android 11?
At this stage you'll only be able to get Android 11 if you have a Pixel smartphone. This is the first major Android release that excludes the original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, while also folding the mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL into the roster too. The full list of compatible devices is below:
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL
Is This The Final Version Of Android 11?
No, quite the opposite. Google's developer site is clear to highlight in bold letters that this preview is "for developers only," which aside from the high likelihood of instabilities and features that aren't fully functional, does put your device at risk.

It's not recommended that you use it on your main phone unless you're happy to put up with possible issues.

Here's Google's official warning: "Because they [beta releases of Android] are not suitable for daily use by early adopters or consumers, we're making them available by manual download and flash only. To flash these builds, note that you'll need to do a full reset, so make sure to back up your data first."

"If you are not a developer but you want to try Android 11, please wait a little longer - we're expecting to open Android Beta enrollments in the next several weeks."

Google typically uses its annual developer conference in May to announce the public release, but with the news that this has now been entirely cancelled and won't continue even as an online-only event, we're not sure yet how this will affect timings.

Compatibility for the consumer beta will include more than just Pixel phones, though we won't know exactly which devices are suitable until nearer the time. As a guide, in 2019 you were able to install the Android 10 beta on 21 devices, including select models from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Asus, Huawei, Sony, Nokia, Oppo, LG, Essential, Vivo and Realme.

Following this we expect a final release for Android 11 in July or August 2020, but do note that unless you are running a Google Pixel, Android One or one of the beta-supported phones it is unlikely that you will get the update immediately. Although phone makers have been much better at rolling out updates in recent years, older and cheaper phones almost certainly won't make the cut.

The time taken to roll out updates and the fact some devices will never get the upgrade at all has meant that Android has long been criticised for still having users running older, less secure platforms. Although the data in the chart below is now relatively old (captured in May 2019), and thus does not take into account Android 10, nor any users who have since updated, it is a good example of what this platform fragmentation looks like in the real world.
VersionCodenameDistribution
2.3.3-2.3.7Gingerbread0.3%
4.0.3-4.0.4Ice Cream Sandwich0.3%
4.1x-4.3Jelly Bean3.2%
4.4KitKat6.9%
5.0-5.1Lollipop14.5%
6.0Marshmallow16.9%
7.0-7.1Nougat19.2%
8.0-8.1Oreo28.3%
9.0Pie10.4%
What Will Android 11 Be Called?
Quite simply, Android 11. Gone are the days we used to have great fun guessing after which sweet treat Google would name its latest Android update.

Since the first Android OS was released the naming system followed two rules: it must be in alphabetical order; and it must be a tasty treat.

Fact is Google was always going to have a problem when it got to 'Q' in 2019, with Android 10 Quiche not having quite the same ring to it as Android 8 Oreo or Android 5 Lollipop. And, let's face it, Google had already struggled with Android Nougat in 2016, reaching out to the public for help in naming its next OS and then settling on a word half its customers couldn't even pronounce, and then in 2018 struggling to come up with anything more tempting than a pie for the letter P.

You might see some tech sites referring to the next instalment of Android as Android R over the next few months as we approach release, and though it would be much easier to find an appropriate name for this, we can't see Google overturning last year's decision to desert the desserts. A great shame.

Here are the previous Android OS names:
  • Android 1.6 Donut
  • Android 2.0 Eclair
  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Android 3 Honeycomb
  • Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Android 5 Lollipop
  • Android 6 Marshmallow
  • Android 7 Nougat
  • Android 8 Oreo
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Android 10
What Are The New Features In Android 11?
Thanks to the release of the Developer Preview we are now able to tell you what to expect from the next version of Android based on facts rather than rumours. However, the Developer Preview really serves as just a taster for us, and we'll get a much more complete picture of what to expect during the Google I/O keynote on 12 May.

Since the initial launch of the Developer Preview, users have been digging into the new features and have found some additional gems. For example, Android Authority points out that we'll be able to schedule Dark Mode to activate only at night (something we're getting an early taster of in the second Pixel feature drop). 9to5Google also reports that Android 11 phones will able to alert you when they are not placed on a wireless charger properly, so you won't be disappointed when you find your phone has not charged up at all.

In a blog post announcing the Android 11 Developer Preview, Google alludes to the following new features:

New Conversations Features
One of the highlights of Android 11 is Bubbles, which sounds very much like a feature borrowed from Facebook Messenger, keeping conversations in view onscreen until you dismiss them. We have yet to see exactly how it works, but as you await a friend's next reply you'll be able to more easily get on with other things, without forgetting all about the ongoing chat. 

The notifications drop-down menu is also getting a bit of a revamp, first with a new dedicated Conversations section, which makes it easier to continue chatting with friends, and second with the ability to copy and paste images into replies right within the notification. You can long-press to promote a conversation to a bubble, create a home screen shortcut for the conversation, silence or snooze notifications for the conversation, and mark a conversation as very important.

Call screening
Android 11 will be able to offer a post call screen to add a caller to contacts or mark a call as spam.

Muted notifications during video recording
Android 11 will be able to turn off vibration alerts for ringtones, alarms and notifications while the camera is operating. Other image and camera improvements include HEIF animated drawtables, a native image decoder and the ability for apps to access a camera's bokeh mode for video and stills.

One-off permissions
Existing Android users will be familiar with pop-ups that require their permission for an app to do a certain thing, such as access their location. Having last year added the ability to grant permissions only while the app is open, in Android 11 Google takes this up a gear with the ability to grant that permission on that occassion only. In other words, they will be asked for their permission every single time.

Enhanced 5G support
Google is updating its connectivity APIs to take fuller advantage of the faster speeds of 5G. In particular, the Dynamic meteredness API can check whether you're on an unmetered tariff and deliver higher-resolution and higher-quality content as appropriate, while the Bandwidth estimator API makes it easier to obtain download and upload speed data without needing to measure the network or the device.

Support for new screen types
Pinhole (where the selfie camera is housed in a small punch-hole cutout in the display) and waterfall (where the screens curve around the phone's frame) screens are already catered for in existing APIs but without full functionality. New APIs will allow waterfall screens to use the entire display, including the edges, with insets used to avoid complicating any interaction at the edges.

Scoped storage
Little detail was given on exactly what this means, but Google claims it has continued its work to "better protect app and user data on external storage, and made further improvements to help developers migrate more easily". 

Enhanced security
With Android 11 Google will reach even more devices with monthly security updates, and builds more protections into the platform. It specifically calls out enhanced APIs for: biometrics, now reaching more devices and supporting three levels of granularity for authenticator types; platform hardening, expanding its use of compiler-based santisers in security-critical components; secure storage and sharing of data, through the BlobstoreManager; and identity credentials, adding support for secure storage and retrieval of verifiable ID documents.

Also new:
  • Neural Networks API that assists in intensive machine learning operations on Android devices
  • Increased investment in Google Play System Updates to improve security, privacy and consistency
  • New processes that prioritise app compatibility to make updates faster and smoother
  • Lower-latency video decoding and HDMI low-latency mode
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Android 11 Release Date & New Feature Rumours Android 11 Release Date & New Feature Rumours Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, May 07, 2020 Rating:

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