Google at this time launched Android 11, the most recent model of its cell OS, and pushed the supply code to the Android Open Supply Undertaking (AOSP). Not like earlier main variations, Android 11 is just not solely arriving as an over-the-air replace to Pixel telephones first, but additionally on OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme telephones “with extra companions launching and upgrading gadgets over the approaching months.”
That’s a significant departure for Android, updates for which take months to reach due to carriers and gadget makers dragging their ft. It doesn’t assist that Android is the dominant cell working system obtainable on hundreds of various gadget configurations, powering over 2.5 billion month-to-month lively gadgets. With Android 11 poised to probably arrive on extra gadgets and sooner, builders who didn’t make the most of the Android 11 beta course of might want to catch up and ensure their apps and video games are prepared for companies and customers alike.
Android 11 has had a rocky beta schedule. Final 12 months, there have been six betas. This 12 months, we noticed 4 developer previews and three betas. Google launched Android 11 DP1 in February (the earliest it has ever launched an Android developer preview), Android 11 DP2 in March, and Android 11 DP3 in April. Android 11 Beta 1 was purported to arrive in Might, however we bought Android 11 DP4 as a stopgap measure. Beta 1 arrived in June adopted by Beta 2 in July and Beta 3 in August. Beta 1 would have usually been proven off at Google’s I/O developer convention, the place the primary Android beta usually debuts, however the occasion was canceled as a result of coronavirus. #Android11: the Beta Launch Present was purported to occur in lieu, however Google postponed after which in the end canceled that as nicely because of protests over systemic racism and police brutality.
Android 11 options
Android 11 brings an extended checklist of latest options. Google initially break up them into three themes: Folks, Controls, and Privateness. However there’s additionally help for 5G, new display screen sorts, and name screening. There’s even a body fee API for serving to apps and video games undertake variable refresh charges, which can be an enormous focus over the following few years as telephones and TVs undertake the characteristic from pc displays. Google additionally expanded the Neural Networks API for operating computationally intensive machine studying operations.
The group additionally snuck in yet another change on the finish of the beta course of: the most recent COVID-19 Publicity Notification API that Google developed with Apple. In late July, Google up to date its model of the system with help for interoperability between international locations and introduced that Android 11 apps can use the API while not having to activate the gadget location setting.
Android 11 folks options
Android 11 is meant to be “extra people-centric and expressive” in order that “the OS that may acknowledge and prioritize crucial folks in your life.” In different phrases, count on a whole lot of messaging performance:
- Dialog notifications seem in a devoted part on the prime of the shade, with a people-forward design and dialog particular actions, comparable to opening the dialog as a bubble, making a dialog shortcut on the house display screen, or setting a reminder.
- Bubbles assist customers to maintain conversations in view and accessible whereas multitasking. Google needs messaging and chat apps to make use of the Bubbles API on notifications in Android 11.
- Consolidated keyboard options let Autofill apps and Enter Methodology Editors (IMEs) securely supply context-specific entities and strings instantly in an IME’s suggestion strip.
- Voice Entry, for individuals who management their telephone solely by voice, now contains an on-device visible cortex that understands display screen content material and context, and generates labels and entry factors for accessibility instructions.
Android 11 controls options
Android 11 makes it simpler to manage your sensible gadgets:
- Gadget Controls assist customers entry and management their linked gadgets. Merely long-press the ability button to convey up gadget controls immediately. Apps can use a brand new API to look within the controls.
- Media Controls allow you to change the output gadget for audio or video content material, whether or not or not it’s headphones, audio system, and even the TV. You’ll be able to allow this at this time from Developer Choices, and it is going to be on by default in an upcoming Beta launch.
Android 11 privateness options
Android 11 additionally brings extra management over delicate permissions and retains gadgets safer by quicker updates:
- One-time permission allows you to give an app entry to the gadget microphone, digital camera, or location, simply that one time. The app can request permissions once more the following time the app is used.
- Background location: Builders must get approval to entry background location of their app to stop misuse, however Google gained’t be imposing this beforehand introduced coverage for present apps till 2021.
- Permissions auto-reset: If you happen to haven’t used an app for an prolonged time frame, Android 11 will “auto-reset” the entire runtime permissions related to the app and notify you. The app can request the permissions once more the following time the app is used.
- Scoped storage: Google has improved this characteristic to raised shield app and person information on exterior storage, and made additional enhancements to assist builders extra simply migrate.
- Google Play System Updates, launched final 12 months, expedite updates of core OS elements to gadgets within the Android ecosystem. Google is doubling the variety of updatable modules. The 12 new modules will assist enhance privateness, safety, and consistency for customers and builders.
- BiometricPrompt API: Builders can specify the biometric authenticator energy required by their app to unlock or entry delicate components of the app. For backward compatibility, Google added these capabilities to the Jetpack Biometric library.
- Id Credential API: New use instances comparable to cell drivers licences, Nationwide ID, and Digital ID.
If you happen to’re a developer, you need to set up your manufacturing app on a tool or emulator operating Android 11, check all of the person flows and options, and ensure not one of the modifications break something. Earlier than exploring the brand new APIs and capabilities, begin by testing your present app and releasing a compatibility replace.
High habits modifications embrace (these apply no matter your app’s targetSdkVersion):
Whereas these modifications will solely have an effect on Android 11 customers, both those that up to date to it or bought a brand new gadget, that also interprets to tens of millions of gadgets. Android 11 additionally contains opt-in habits modifications — these have an effect on your app as soon as it’s focusing on the brand new platform.
Google recommends builders dive into the next options for all Android 11 apps: darkish theme, gesture navigation, Sharing Shortcuts API, synchronized IME transitions, and new display screen sorts. Notably, the primary three have been initially added in Android 10. In any other case, Google recommends exploring these options in the event that they’re related to your app: Conversations, Bubbles API, 5G, gadget controls, and media controls.
You may additionally wish to obtain Android 11 manufacturing facility system photos for Pixel gadgets, Generic System Pictures, the Android Flash Device, and the most recent Android Emulator system photos by way of the SDK Supervisor in Android Studio.