Android 11 Developer Preview: All the changes we found from Android 10 so far!
Google has officially kicked off the next version of Android by releasing the first developer preview for Android 11. This first preview is intended for developers, but there are also several consumer-facing features to note. We will be updating this post throughout the day and week with all of the new features we uncover while digging around.
Scheduled Dark Theme
This will make a lot of people happy. As the name implies, you can now schedule the Dark Theme to come on at specific times. The options are the same as what we get for Night Light: sunset to sunrise or a custom time.
Bubbles Notifications Enabled by Default
Bubbles were introduced in Android 10 and we’ve known Google intends to do more with them. In Android 11 DP 1, bubbles notifications are enabled by default. You still have to long-press the notification and tap “bubble” to use this feature, and the app has to actually support it. You just don’t have to enable the option in Developer Options anymore.
“Conversations” Section in Notifications
There is a new section in the Notifications pull down for “Conversations.” This is where notifications from messaging apps will appear, and there are some new quick actions you can take on them. You have the option to “Snooze” a notification, mute it, show it as a bubble, or “favorite,” which we’re not sure what that does. The crossed-out messaging icon next to the Settings icon (second screenshot) removes the notification from the conversation section.
Screen Record Toggle in Quick Settings
If you take a lot of screen recordings you’ll be happy to see there is now a toggle for “Screen Record” in the Quick Settings pull down. Screen recordings do not capture internal app audio at this time, however.
New UI for Do Not Disturb settings
Do Not Disturb has been reorganized once again. Exceptions are organized into People, Apps, and Alarms & other interruptions. The other settings are the same, but moved around a bit.
New “Ask Every Time” option for permissions
Permissions were a big deal in Android 10 and there some new features in Android 11 as well. There is a new “Ask Every Time” option, which means the app will ask your permission every single time it wants to use your camera, contacts, etc.
Apps won’t annoy you with repeated permission requests
Ever get frustrated with apps that constantly ask you for permissions? Android 11 will stop this by preventing apps from asking for permissions if you tap Deny twice for a specific permission.
These actions will also be taken into account:
- If the user presses the back button to dismiss the permission dialog, this doesn’t count as a “deny” action.
- If the user is taken to system settings from your app using
requestPermissions()and then presses the back button, this does count as a “deny” action.
Gesture Settings in More Places
One of the most notable changes in Android 10 was the full gesture navigation system. In Android 11, the settings for gestures have been put in the Accessibility settings as well as the old location of Settings > System > Gestures. This should make it easier to find.
Android 11 Dynamic System Updates installer in Developer Option
Dynamic System Updates are now in the Developer options in Android 11. In the screenshot above, you can see what the installer looks like for installing a Dynamic System Update package.
New setting to show the display refresh rate in Developer Options
For people who like to see information on the screen, there is a new toggle in the Developer Options to show the current display refresh rate.
Bluetooth devices stay connected in Airplane Mode
As we previously reported, Android 11 changes the behavior of Airplane Mode. If you are currently using a Bluetooth device connected to your phone, Bluetooth will not be turned off when you enable Airplane Mode.
Pixel 4 gets a new increased touch sensitivity option
An interesting new feature for Pixel 4 users is “Increase touch sensitivity” in the Display options. The description says it “improves touch when using screen protectors.” That’s a handy feature if you’re using a particularly thick screen protector, such as tempered glass. Whether or not people will know this toggle exists is another story.
New screenshot preview with scrolling screenshot support
Way back in May of 2019, Dave Burke said they would add support for scrolling features in “Android R.” Android 11 (the artist previously known as Android R) is here and so are scrolling screenshots. There’s a catch though: it doesn’t work yet. We were able to manually activate the UI element, as shown above, but it’s not functional. We’ll likely see it in an upcoming release.
New Motion Sense gesture to pause music on the Pixel 4
Motion Sense was a headlining feature of the Pixel 4 but the media control functionality is pretty limiting. You could only use it to skip songs or go back to the previous song. Android 11 adds a gesture to play/pause music by mimicking a tap with your whole hand in front of the display.
Pin an app to the Share Menu
Android’s native share menu has changed a lot in recent years and many people still don’t like it. In Android 11, Google is attempting to make it easier to use by allowing apps to be pinned to the menu. This means those apps will always be at the top and easy to find.
New Magnify Settings
Google has revamped the magnifications settings page in Android 11. The first page shows the option to “Use shortcut to magnify” and “Magnification settings.” The settings page has options for the magnification area and to enable full-screen magnification. This is a much nicer and more useful menu for these important accessibility options.
Keep an eye on this post as we will continue to add more discoveries from Android 11!
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