Who’s in control?
Your users are! The Android 11 Beta 1 focuses a great deal on giving more control to the user. Media playback controls get promoted to the Quick Settings, where you can now swipe between media apps and easily change the output device.
The power button menu is completely revamped, with quick access to Google Pay options and smart home controls.
And, as has been the case in most recent Android versions, the permission system is updated once again to give users more control over their privacy. Most important to note, background location permissions will no longer be visible in the “Grant location” pop-up. Instead, you will only be able to choose between “While using the app”, “Only this time” or “Deny”. If you really require background location updates, you’ll need to direct your users to the Android Settings page.
The “Only this time”-option allows your app to use the permission (be it location, microphone or camera) for a limited period of time, which is to say, until the user navigates away from your app long enough.
To further protect your user’s privacy, Android will now automatically revoke permissions for apps that haven’t been used for a long time. Fortunately, it takes a couple of months of inactivity before this behavior kicks in and the user can disable it in the Settings app.
During times of social distancing, digital contact with family, friends, and co-workers is more important than ever. Android 11 picks up on this by showing messaging notifications even more prominent in the notification shade. In addition, Bubbles are fully introduced (they were already a developer option in Android 10).
Conversation bubbles, which you may already know from apps like Facebook Messenger, float over your screen, giving you very quick access to your current conversations. They are now integrated directly into the Android platform and can be used by any app supporting some form of messaging.
All grown up
Android has been a mature mobile platform for quite some time now, but there’s always room for improvement and support of new technologies.
Shooting blurry images and shaky videos due to notifications making your phone vibrate? Not anymore, with automatic sound and vibration muting!
Developing an app yourself and your USB-cable stops working? No worries, with wireless debugging you won’t ever need a cable again.
Bought yourself a fancy foldable smartphone? Android will now be able to detect the angle of the hinge and react to changes!
Tired of doing all the work yourself? Let the improved Neural Networks API be of help (or take a look at our blog post about the future of AI in mobile).
Can't get enough of cat videos? Now you'll stream even faster with full 5G support!
Who’s in control again?
Android 11 definitely focuses on improvements for users and their privacy, but us developers haven’t been forgotten either, making our development process easier while improving the usefulness of apps for our dear users.
Want to know what the impact of this release will be for your (future) app? Our team is more than happy to help!