Android 11 Beta is now available for early adopters and developers, offering new ways to connect devices and media and significantly improving privacy settings.
“You can now quickly access and control your smart devices in one place by long pressing on the power button,” Dave Burke, vice president of Android engineering, wrote in a post. “Adjusting the temperature, turning on the lights or unlocking the front door can now be done with a tap without opening multiple apps.”
To make communication easier, Android 11 moves all conversations across multiple messaging apps to a dedicated space in the notification section, making it easier to see, respond to, and manage conversations all in one place, Burke explained.
The new Android 11 feature called Bubbles helps users engage with important conversations without switching back and forth between current tasks and the messaging app. Gboard automatically suggests relevant text and emojis made possible by Federated Learning.
Every Android release will also have new privacy and security controls that let users decide how and when data on their device is shared.
Users can grant one-time permissions for the camera and location. The next time the app needs access to these sensors, it will have to ask for permission again. If an app hasn’t been used for a long time, the permission settings are automatically reset and users can re-grant permissions the next time they open the app.
Additional features in Android 11 include a screen recorder, updated Voice Access, which lets users control their device with spoken commands, improved performance, and an improved share menu that makes it easier to share content from your phone.
“We’re making Android more people-centric and expressive, reimagining the way we have conversations on our phones, and building an OS that can recognize and prioritize the most important people in your life,” Burke wrote.
Instead of having a livestream event, Android released a series of videos and online resources that provide an in-depth view of all the new features.