Google has released the first public beta of Android 11. Instead of the planned release during the Android 11 Beta Launch Show that was originally scheduled for June 3, the first beta of Android 11 has been silently released with an announcement on the official Google Developer blog.
Can your phone run Android 11 beta?
Android 11 beta is currently compatible only with the Pixel 2 duo and subsequent models released after it. Here’s the full list of phones on which you can download Android 11’s first public beta build:
Android 11: New Features
Google has broadly classified all the new Android 11 features into three categories – People, controls and privacy. Here’s what they’re all about:
- There is now a dedicated section at the top of the shade where conversation notifications appear. Users will now see conversation specific actions, such as the ability to open a conversation as a bubble, make a conversation shortcut on the home screen, or even set a reminder.
- Messaging and chat apps are now moving to the Bubbles format in Android 11. Bubbles will let you keep a conversation on the screen while multitasking.
- Keyboard suggestions will allow Autofill apps to securely offer context-specific entries in the suggestion strip. This is essentially a smart-reply feature.
- Android 11 brings an on-device visual cortex that allows it to understands screen content and context when someone is using the phone via voice commands. While doing so, a phone running Android 11 will generate labels and access points for accessibility-related commands.
- Long press the power button to open the Device Controls tray where you can control all connected devices in one place. Here’s how the controls look:
- There is now a dedicated media control card that shows streams playing locally on the phone, those playing on external devices, and even previous resumable music sessions in the same order that they were originally played. It is also easier to switch on which device the music is playing.
- Android 11 brings a new feature that allows users to give temporary one-time permissions to an app for using the mic, location, camera, etc.
- In case users haven’t used an app in a long time, Android 11 will automatically reset all permissions that the app has been granted.
- Developers now have until 2021 to make changes that will require an app to get user approval so that it can access their location in the background.