It will still take a while before we see Android 11 on our smartphones as it will only arrive at the end of 2020. In any case, we already know some of the new features and functionality thanks to the previews for the developers.
These versions of the operating system are released to allow professionals to try out new features and develop apps accordingly, although many of these aspects inevitably end up in the public domain. This allows us to get a clear idea of what to expect from the next operating system.
We currently know that the official presentation of Android 11 will take place on June 3rd. Normally it would have happened in May during Google IO 2020 but the event was canceled.
One of the few certainties that we have concerns the name. The 2020 update will be called Android 11 as Google itself has confirmed. From version 10 onwards, in fact, the company has announced that it wants to use a nomenclature with progressive numbers for the various updates.
There are many rumors that have already appeared in recent months and even more, will come as the release date approaches, and here you will find all the latest news (official and otherwise) on Android 11.
Straight to the point
- What is it about? Of the next Android operating system
- When it comes out? Probably in September 2020, at least on the Pixels
- How much will it cost? Android 11 will be free
Android 11: release date
Google generally reveals the new features of the next operating system during the Google IO in May and then releases the final version on smartphones in the autumn starting from its Pixels. We expect to see Android 11 in September, also considering that Android 10 had debuted in 2019 with the Pixel 4.
Due to the coronavirus, Google IO 2020 has been canceled but the company has announced a digital event to launch the Android 11 beta for June 3rd. Subsequent ones will arrive in July and August, followed by the final version probably in September.
After the Pixels, towards the end of the year, the update will progressively reach the other smartphones during 2021. Last year the first models to have Android 10 had been OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro but we do not exclude that Android 11 may arrive earlier on smartphones from other manufacturers.
Android 11: functionality and features
The first advances on Android 11 came from the developer preview released in mid-February. Based on this, we know a couple of technical information useful especially for experts but also interesting for those who do not develop professional Android apps.
An important feature of Android 11 will allow apps to automatically recognize if you are under cover of a 5G network in a very similar way to what happens today between the 4G data network and Wi-Fi. This would allow us to optimize the use of applications both in terms of content and performance and avoid excessive battery consumption which, we remember, with 5G activated is very consistent.
At the interface level, Android 11 should be able to divide the messaging app notifications from all the others in order to better organize the display. It will also be possible to eliminate those notifications that are still impossible to remove and that usually concern system information such as Bluetooth and battery.
The Night Brightness mode already seen on Android 10 will also return, which in the new operating system will not only limit itself to activating the warm light in the evening hours but will also allow you to set an activation time for the dark theme, already present in Android 10 but not can be programmed.
The new operating system is also expected to introduce small improvements in terms of managing app permissions. Normally a dialog screen appears to authorize or permanently deny access to data or functionality.
With Android 11, as already happens for opening links in applications, it will also be possible to choose the “Ask every time” option, so as not to authorize an app to have constant access to your data.
If with Android 10 you have had problems synchronizing your phone with the wireless charging base, it seems that Android 11 can help you correct this defect. When the smartphone is not perfectly aligned. an error message will appear, so you know if you need to change the location of the device.
Another feature that will improve users’ quality of life is Bluetooth. With Android 11 when Airplane Mode is activated, the wireless connection with devices will not be automatically cut off. For those who often use wireless headphones, for example on airplanes, this function could be particularly useful.
Even before these advances came from the developer preview, Google had announced Scoped Storage, a feature initially designed for Android 10 but excluded from the final version after the negative feedback from the developers.
Scoped Storage is a new method for organizing which information and files applications can read. In practice, it makes memory faster, improves security, and avoids asking for permissions for each new app.
The third preview of Android 11 for developers has shown other features that could arrive in the next update of the operating system.
Among the most interesting there is certainly the integrated screen recording feature which will have a dedicated interface and several audio options. Some preliminary versions of Android 10 showed a sketch of the screen recorder but nothing as complete as we saw in the Android 11 developer previews.
Among the other innovations, it is worth mentioning the introduction of a reset button for apps, in case they are closed by mistake and the possibility of capturing screenshots without necessarily having to open them.
The size of some buttons has also been reduced, to avoid accidentally pressing them, and the volume menu will be renamed to the wider Sounds.
Finally, there is also an option to use the smartphone as a hotspot using an Ethernet cable if you have the right cable to do it.
Android 11: what we want to see
These are the improvements that are not available on the latest version of the operating system and that we would like to see in Android 11.
1. An alternative for sharing via NFC
Android 10 decreed the disappearance of Android Beam which allowed to share files between smartphones via NFC.
It would be useful to have some simple alternative to use and integrated into Android 11 that allows you to share photos, videos, music, and other files only by approaching two devices without having to resort to cumbersome procedures on dedicated apps. From this point of view, something similar to Apple’s AirDrop is still missing on Android.
2. An improved dark theme
The dark theme is not liked by everyone but its supporters have many difficulties on Android 10.
First of all, not many applications support it, so much so that some of Google’s proprietary apps are also missing. This means that even with this color scheme activated, you often find yourself switching to an app with a light theme and then returning to another with a black background. In short, not exactly the best for the view.
Secondly, even if an app supports the dark theme, the text may not change color, making it impossible to read. This color scheme will only really be useful on Android when it is also available on most applications.
3. Greater use of chat bubbles
One of the new (but hidden) features of Android 10 has been the introduction of chat bubbles that remain in the foreground when using applications. This is a very interesting type of notification and which we would like to become increasingly widespread in the future.
At the moment, however, not all apps are compatible. Beyond Messenger, they are supported by Google Messages and Hangouts, but this type of notification is generally still not widespread.
It would be really useful if multiple apps introduced this type of notifications: WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and even dating apps (as long as there is not something to hide!). It would be incredibly simple to keep the various conversations between the different apps on the smartphone high and in the foreground.