Google Android 11 Beta Focuses On People, Controls, and Privacy

Google has released the beta version of Android 11. Developer previews for Android 11 have been around since February. Now, Google has officially opened up the beta release with three themes: people, controls, and privacy.

The people focus of Android 11 means this release is more expressive and people-centric. The Android team has reimagined the way people have conversations on phones. Examples of people-centric features in the Android 11 beta include conversation notifications (these appear in a dedicated section at the top of the shade and includes conversation-specific actions), bubbles (these help users keep conversations in view while using other apps and services), consolidated keyboard suggestions (enables features such as autofill apps and input method), and voice access (eases access to users who operate their phone entire by voice).

The control focus allows Android users to control all smart devices from a single space. By long pressing the power button, users can bring up device controls and manage other devices through a new API. New media controls allow users to switch to an output device for audio or video content. This includes headphones, speakers, TVs, etc. This feature is enabled through developer options.

Finally, privacy. Android 11 gives users more control over sensitive permissions than before. Additionally, Google is working on faster updates to keep devices more secure on an ongoing basis. Examples of privacy controls in Android 11 include one-time permission (give apps access to a device microphone, camera or location for a single-use), permission auto-reset (if an app goes unused for a period of time, the runtime permissions are auto-reset), background location access will now need to be granted to developers before they gain access, and Google plans to double the amount of Google Play System Updates.

For more information on these updates, and links to all the relevant Documentation, check out the blog post announcement.

Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Google Improves Paging API with Kotlin