The first Android 11 Developer Preview was released today as a build only meant for developers. This is not a build for most of us, but it still gives us a preview about the types of new goodies we could see later in the year from this next version of Android 11. In this post, let’s walk through what we know is new so far in Android 11.
Android R, but not
Google is calling this the Android 11 Developer Preview, so one might think we have officially dumped letter codenames for Android. We haven’t, well, not completely. When you flash this Android 11 build, it is indeed referred to on-device as Android R.
Dark Theme can now be scheduled
Android 11 brings a feature we should have had in Android 10: dark theme scheduling. With Android 11, you’ll be able to set a custom time for the system dark theme to come on, or let your phone set it based on sunset and sunrise.
Bubbles, the catheads-like experience first introduced in Android 10 but then delayed to Android 11, is nowhere. Google is telling developers to use the Bubbles API in order to enable them in Android 11, so don’t be surprised if your favorite messaging apps don’t have them yet.
The One-Time permission
Like last year, when Google adjusts location permissions by giving us the option to let apps only access location “While the app is in use,” Android 11 makes this even more limited. Now, you’ll have choices of “Only this time” or “While using the app.” That seems incredibly strict and restrictive for apps that need location access all of the time, but hey, we’ll let it play out for now.
Screen recording is here!
The screen recording option that worked for a bit in early Android 10 builds is back once again. We’ll see how long it sticks around, but it works pretty well! You can add it as a quick settings shortcut, tell it to record, and easily view back the recorded session.
Increase touch sensitivity
Other phones have had this set for some time, but Google appears to be adding a display setting that “improves touch when using screen protectors.” It’s a simple toggle on/off at the very bottom of display settings.
Pinning returns to share menu
If you want to make a more customized share menu in Android 11, you’ll be happy to know that you can now “pin” apps or shortcuts to be used every time you got to share something. This option was once a part of Android 10, but never made the cut in the final release. Maybe it’ll stick this time.