The Android 11 beta was officially made available on Wednesday, and so far, there are a slew of new features that stand out.
This release includes the final SDK and NDK application programming interfaces for developers and opens up Google Play publishing for apps targeting Android 11.
Android laid out its latest features within three specific key areas: People, control, and privacy. Here are some of the more impressive features in Android 11 beta:
- You can now prioritize your conversations with your most important contacts in the new “conversations” section at the top of your notification shade.
- Customizable Do Not Disturb enables you to choose which apps or people can still notify you when you turn the mode on.
- A built-in screen recorder.
- One-time permission options for microphone, camera, location, and more.
- The power button shortcuts allow access to your credit/debit cards stored in Google Pay as well as controls for Google Home devices.
- Chat bubbles that allow for a smoother interaction whether you’re on the home page or in an app.
- An “auto-reset” feature that will automatically remove app permissions if you haven’t used an app in a while.
Android’s latest public beta was supposed to debut at the Google I/O conference in May, but the coronavirus pandemic forced that event to be canceled. Android was supposed to have a virtual event scheduled for June 3 but postponed it last week in light of the worldwide protests for the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others.
Instead of a virtual event, Android released the beta on Wednesday with short-form videos and web pages that you can consume at your own pace.
Google plans to release beta 2 in July and beta 3 in August, which will include candidate builds for final testing.
While Android 11 most likely won’t be available to most phones until 2021, there is also a chance some new Android phones released later on this year will come with Android 11 already installed.
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