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

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

Google’s Grace Hopper subsea cable lands in Cornwall
Infrastructure

Google’s Grace Hopper subsea cable lands in Cornwall

15 Sep 2021
South Korea fines Google for abusing Android dominance
Policy & legislation

South Korea fines Google for abusing Android dominance

14 Sep 2021
Google handed user data to Hong Kong authorities despite pledge
privacy

Google handed user data to Hong Kong authorities despite pledge

13 Sep 2021
Google and Microsoft's hybrid work battle shows the narrative is just as important as the technology
collaboration

Google and Microsoft's hybrid work battle shows the narrative is just as important as the technology

9 Sep 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021