Google Postpones June 3rd Event for Android 11 Beta Release
Google is postponing its Android 11 beta launch event which was supposed to take place on June 3. Called the 'Android 11 Beta Launch Show', the virtual event was comprised of a number of development-focused talks regarding the new features in Google's operating system update.
Google attributes the event postponement to the on-going situation in the United States. The official Android Developers Twitter account posted the following tweet:
We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate. We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release. We'll be back with more on Android 11, soon.
The first beta for Android 11 was originally planned to release at Google I/O, but the company cancelled the event due to the on-going pandemic. So this is the second time that Android 11 beta has been delayed.
Meanwhile, Google has been working on the developer previews for the operating system update and released Android 11 Developer Preview 4 on May 7. The developer previews are available for Google Pixel 2/2 XL, Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL, and Pixel 4/4 XL.
It is unclear how this delay in the beta release will impact the overall timeline for Android 11 release. Beta 1 was planned for a release in June, with beta 2 following in July. Beta 3 was planned for an August release, and a final release in quarter 3 of 2020. For now, Google has not updated the timeline and milestones for Android 11 release. We might get more information on the updated timeline over the next few days.
Here is a recap of the new features coming in Android 11:
- Helpful innovation: This unsurprisingly starts with 5G, and Google frames it as a way for developers to “extend [their] Wi-Fi app experiences to mobile users.” Existing APIs have been updated to let applications determine what kind of connection they have access to. Also part of this tentpole is support for new display types, with one API letting devs use the entirety of a waterfall screen, including edges. To improve messaging, there’s a new dedicated conversation section of the notification shade, while Google is pushing Bubbles and letting you paste images into apps and replies.
- Privacy and security: Building off the ability to limit location to “While app is in use” — which is selected by half of users, are one-time permissions for location, microphone, and camera. Scoped storage will likely also go into effect this year. Meanwhile, Android 11 improves biometrics and features platform hardening, as well as secure app data storage and sharing. Users should be excited by electronic ID/driver license support.
- Updates and compatibility: Android 11 is expanding Project Mainline — visible to users as Google Play System Update — with 12 new modules that can be updated without OS releases. A new permissions module “standardizes user and developer access to critical privacy controls on Android devices.” Meanwhile, Google is giving developers a new “Platform Stability” milestone in July that will include final SDK/NDK APIs, internal APIs, and system behaviors.
- Polish and quality: There are various improvements to the connectivity stack, low latency video codecs, and for images/cameras. Highlights for the latter include HEIF animated drawables that are drastically smaller than GIFs, an API to mute vibration when capturing images, and bokeh.