Android 11 is finally here. Google has released the first Developer Preview of Android 11 ahead of its regular March schedule for major Android upgrades. Android 11 brings a host of new app capabilities, enhancements for foldable phones, APIs to take better advantage of 5G, and newer camera capabilities.

System images for the first Android 11 Developer Preview are out now, and they can be downloaded on the Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and the Pixel 4. Here’s the release timeline for Android 11 builds:

  • Android 11 Developer Preview 1: February
  • Android 11 Developer Preview 2: March
  • Android 11 Developer Preview 3: April
  • Android 11 Beta 1: May
  • Android 11 Beta 2: June
  • Android 11 Beta 3: Q3 2020
  • Android 11 stable build: Q3 2020

What’s New in Android 11?

Android 11 brings new experiences tailored to take advantage of 5G connectivity, such as APIs for checking if a connection is unmetered and estimate network bandwidth.

The developer-targeted first preview build of Android 11 also brings support for new screen types such as hole-punch and waterfall display, letting developers optimize their apps for such panels.

Android 11 adds a dedicated conversation section in the notifications shade, support for chat bubbles with the Bubbles API. Notably, it will finally let users add images into a reply from the notifications shade itself.

Coming to privacy, Android 11 will let users grant temporary one-time permission to apps for accessing sensitive data. It will also make it easier for developers to minimize the impact of app behavior changes and also eases the process of testing and debugging apps.

Furthermore, Android 11 introduces a new API to help decode and render image sequence animations stored in HEIF files, offering a drastic reduction in file size compared to animated GIFs. Another API that lets apps decode and encode images from native code for graphics and post-processing has arrived as well.

Google has also added another neat API that will allow the camera app to mute vibrations and ringtones from alarms or notifications while taking a photo or video. You can check more details about Android 11 on the official Android Developers Blog here.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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