More privacy, uniform chats: Android 11 appeared on schedule

Google has released the final version of Android 11. The distribution starts for the pixel smartphones of the internet giant as well as for the OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and Realme devices. The current release brings among other things a separate area for chat notifications and a uniform media control.

In addition, Android 11 has advanced settings for privacy on board, works with new device types and brings optimizations for 5G devices. For communication with the outside world, Google has expanded the connection to the smart home and car.

September 8th as the date for publication had already been leaked in advance as part of the Smart Home Summit. Before that, there were some delays, among other things due to a longer developer preview phase and a delayed release of the first beta due to the unrest in the USA.

Android 11 unifies notifications from various messaging apps in a separate area. Users can prioritize individual people so that their messages don’t get lost in the noise of constant communication.

Android 11 shows conversations across all apps and introduces the bubbles originally planned for Android 10.

(Image: Google)

Google originally planned bubbles as a notification for Android Q. They didn’t find their way into the final build, however. Android 11 now includes the new form of notification, with which users can, among other things, reply directly to messages without starting the associated messaging app. Developers can choose the form of notification via the Bubble API integrate.

The release also brings with it an extended media control. In addition, media playback can be seamlessly switched from one output device to another. Developers can find examples and requirements for using the Media controls in the Android documentation.

The current release also contains a central control center for the smart home. End users can use it to control various devices, as can device manufacturers or developers find an APIto integrate your own devices.


Android 11 offers a control center for controlling various smart home devices

(Image: Google)

A Compatible car required, Android 11 can be wirelessly connected to the car to use navigation or messaging functions as well as media control.

The first Developer Preview of Android 11, published in February, already focused on new device types. It aimed at expanded access in 5G networks and took into account new screen formats such as waterfall screens, in which the image goes over the edge and pinhole screens with a recessed camera. In addition, Preview 1 brought an extended Neural Networks API (NNAPI) for machine learning applications.

With regard to new devices, the second preview was aimed at foldables. She also introduced an adjustable refresh rate, especially for games: developers can use the frame rate API to set values ​​beyond the usual 60Hz in their apps, provided the end devices offer the increased rate.

The built-in screen recorder was originally included in Android Q, but because the implementation was too flawed, Google disabled it. In Android 11, the tool for capturing the screen content comes back. The recorded audio signal can not only come from the device or the microphone, but also combine both.

Users can now give apps a one-time approval for some critical data such as location, microphone or camera, which is only valid as long as they use the application. The next time it is accessed, the app has to ask for permission from the user again. If an app remains idle for a long time, the system also resets the runtime authorizations so that you have to request them again.

Android 11 can only grant apps access to sensitive data such as location for the current session.

Android 11 can only grant apps access to sensitive data such as location for the current session.

(Image: Google)

Android 10 already had some changes in the privacy functions on board, including scoped storage, which assigns each app an isolated sandbox on external storage such as SD cards. Android 11 introduces new methods in the MediaStore API that apps can use to request extended access to files such as photos, videos or music.

Further innovations in Android 11 can be found the Android developer blog and the official German Android blog remove. Detailed descriptions of individual new features from the perspective of developers can also be found in the articles heise developer:


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