Android 11 developer access arrives earlier than expected

Developers can now preview the latest OS, with the full launch scheduled for Q3 2020

Developers can preview and test their apps against the latest iteration of Google’s Android mobile OS a month earlier than expected.

The free Android 11 Developer Preview programme offers developers a runtime environment in which to test their apps, as well as experiment with any OS changes that could improve app functionality.

Although Google usually releases its Android developer preview versions around mid-March, the preview iteration for the forthcoming Android 11 OS has been given an unexpected mid-February launch. 

Further updates to the developer preview will be issued in March and April, while Google currently expects to release Beta iterations of Android 11 in May and June. This period will focus on achieving platform stability, with a final release slated for the third quarter of 2020.

"At key development milestones, we'll deliver updates for your development and testing environments. Each includes SDK tools, system images, emulators, API reference, and API diffs," Google said in a post, the latter point referencing a visual tool for comparing versions of software.

Related Resource

Application modernisation field guide

It’s time to modernise your application portfolio

Download now

"We're introducing a milestone called 'Platform Stability' to help you plan your final testing and releases," the post added. "This milestone means that Android 11 has reached final internal and external APIs, final app-facing behaviors, and final non-SDK graylists."

“We expect Android 11 to reach Platform Stability at Beta 2 in June 2020," Google added. "From that point, you can expect no further changes affecting your apps."

The Android 11 preview can only be used on Google’s smartphones, including the Pixel 4 and 4XL, Pixel 3a and 3a XL, Pixel 3 and 3 XL, and Pixel 2 and 2 XL

Google’s new mobile OS is expected to introduce a swathe of new features for users as well as developers. One of the most significant changes is in data access auditing, whereby developers can better identify and rectify potentially unexpected data access in their apps.

Android 11 also adds several methods to the MediaStore API with regards to performing batch operations, to the benefit of consistency across devices and added user convenience. Generally, this will be useful for apps that want a streamlined flow for modifying media files, such as editing a photo in-place.

Moreover, in situations involving machine learning or media playback, the OS allows large datasets to be cached on the device using ‘shared data blobs’ which can be shared between apps. This is a change from the way that both apps would currently each need to download a separate copy of the same large dataset.

In terms of security, Android 11 introduces an interface that defines the possible strengths of biometric hardware elements, with the handset manufacturer denoting a strength for each element. 

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Recommended

How to unroot Android
Google Android

How to unroot Android

22 Apr 2020
Fortnite creator sues Google and Apple over app store cut
Mobile

Fortnite creator sues Google and Apple over app store cut

14 Aug 2020
TikTok accused of using Android loophole to track users
privacy

TikTok accused of using Android loophole to track users

12 Aug 2020
Google Drive vs Microsoft OneDrive head-to-head review
cloud storage

Google Drive vs Microsoft OneDrive head-to-head review

12 Aug 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

3 Aug 2020