Android 11: Get ready to embrace the new features


If you are an Android developer or an enthusiast about the new versions of the Android operating system, then the urge to try out Android 11 to look into new features that are up for offer is natural. There are two ways to get hold of the new version of Android.

  • On the hardware, if you own one of the Pixel Devices
  • On an Emulator on your system, without the need for the actual Pixel Devices. 

Pixels devices are developed by Google, and these devices are the first ones to get Android updates. Most of the developers might not own a Pixel device and hence the second method seems to be a perfect fit for a large developer community to try out Android 11.

android 11 features

System Image of Android 11

To get the developer preview of Android 11, head over to the official Android website for developer preview.

It is supported by the following Pixel Devices.

  • Pixel 4 / 4 XL
  • Pixel 3a / 3a XL
  • Pixel 3 / 3 XL
  • Pixel 2 / 2 XL.

These builds are not suitable for daily uses so it is made available through manual download and flash options. To flash this build you might have to do a full reset and make sure the data is backed up.

Tools like Android Flash tools might be used, just connect your device by USB and flash the developer’s preview through the tool. Once done later updates to the developer’s Preview and Beta builds will be given through the Over-the-air updates.

The other alternative if you don’t have the hardware but still want to try Android 11 is through the Android Emulator, which can be used for testing and development.

Android 11 on Android Emulator

The Android Emulator is a software that can run a virtual phone from your system. It is a great software if one wants to test the new features, APIs and testing the Android behavior changes. It’s easy to set and convenient to emulate various screen devices like phones, tabs, etc. and also several Android devices to choose from the list. 

The Android emulator is a great solution for exploring new features, APIs and testing with Android11 behavior changes. The emulator is fast and convenient and allows you to emulate device characteristics on various screen sizes.

If you are already familiar with Android Studio, then it is easy to set up an emulator with Android 11 Preview. Just install the latest Android 11 Preview image and create a virtual device as follows:

You can also set up an emulator with Android 11 Developer Preview from inside Android Studio. 

Install the latest system image and create a virtual device as follows:

  1. Navigate to Tools > SDK Manager.
  2. Under the SDK Platforms tab, select Show Package Details at the bottom of the window.
  3. Below the Android 11 Developer Preview, select the system image.
  4. Select the latest version of Android Emulator in the SDK Tools tab,
  5. Click OK to begin the installation.
  6. After the installation completes, go to Tools > AVD Manager, and follow the instructions to create a new AVD. Be sure to select a Pixel device and select also the appropriate system image.
  7. Look for the list of virtual devices in the AVD Manager’s list, double-click your new virtual device to launch it.

Features of Android 11

Every new release of the software has a new feature set. This has been the norm of all the updates. 

The features in this release include,

1. Native screen recording

This is one such feature that was missed out a lot though you could capture a screenshot by default screen recording was not yet integrated before. The need was so obvious that the Android development team has finally integrated to do so. This was a much-awaited update from the functionality point of view. 

2. Muting notifications during video

This was another irritating thing, to have pop-up notifications coming up while watching the video and blocking the video screen and the audio. This is getting addressed in this release. These notifications can wait though most of us would not watch a movie on the smartphone. So the notifications can hold on to get noticed. The approach of handling the notification was tweaked to get around this problem.

3. Increase touch sensitivity

Generally, everyone nowadays will have a screen guard on top of their valuable screens and would tend to reduce the touch sensitivity of the device. This has been taken care of in the view of most users safeguarding screens through touchscreens. Some of the smartphone manufacturers have started shipping the screen guards along with the device as well.

4. Notification History

If one accidentally closes the notification then there was no option to view it back again. This was a sort of concern for most of the users. The notifications related to operating systems are generally an important piece of information. Though the history was maintained by the OS it was not accessible for the users. Now, this is opened up for the users to view just in case they missed to read the notifications.

5. Airplane mode doesn’t kill Bluetooth

It was kind of weird to switch off the Bluetooth while turning off all the wireless connectivity. This would imply that the phone does not send any Bluetooth signals and made the Bluetooth headsets unusable just in case you are listening to music over your Bluetooth sets. More and more gadgets are Bluetooth enabled nowadays. To take this into account, this change was a welcome that came to incorporate the changing dynamics in the technology. 

6. Supports high-speed 5G, curved and foldable displays, pinhole cameras and possibly reverse wireless charging

High-speed data connectivity will soon be rolled out throughout the globe. There was a need to support 5G network connectivity. Apart from this, to add support to some of the innovative features that are surfacing around including the foldable displays, pinhole cameras, etc. One more interesting feature rumored on the reverse wireless charging which means you can share some portions of your phone battery charge with your friends who are running out on the battery.

Availability of Android 11 public beta

As per Google, the public beta should be available around May.

Name of Android 11 is to be announced also.

With the Android Beta Program, Google is trying to bring Android 11 for usage to its developer community. Anyone enrolled for the Public Beta program will receive the Beta update on their phones as soon as it is made available and also over-the-air updates if there are any more further updates after the beta release. 

Android developers website says that if you are not a developer but want to try Android 11 then to wait a little longer as they are expecting to open Android Beta enrollments in the next couple of weeks.

Conclusion

The Android versions are adapting to the new technological enhancement and striving to improve the user experience with every release. The exciting new display technologies will again change the way we use our smartphones and the Android has loaded with all the features to take any of the new changes shortly.

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About Punith Salian

Punith Salian is creative, traveller, writer, thinker, an aspiring guitarist, an electronics geek and to some extent an athlete. He mostly likes to share his travel and childhood experience through blogs. Apart from this, he also blogs on technology and culture. He likes to reach out to people and connect with them through social media.

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