Android 11 Developer Preview 2 is out with support for call screening, hinge angle detection,and etc
Almost exactly a month after it released the first Developer Preview for Android 11, Google is releasing the second one. As it’s a developer preview, it’s not designed to be a public beta, nor does it include all of the features we’re expecting in Android 11, but there are a few new things to talk about.
At the top of that list is an API that allows a foldable to tell apps what angle the hinge is bent at. That could make it easier for devices like Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Duo to change their screen state if the company adopts it. More generally, the ability for Android devices to show different things depending on where the hinges are is becoming a more important feature, and it ought to be handled at the system level. Other devices like Samsung’s Z Flip and Galaxy Fold will also benefit.
Google is also adding an API so apps can check on a call’s SHAKEN/STIR status to make it easier to build call screening apps. It also adds the promised way for apps to check on the 5G status of the network, essentially an on / off switch in addition to the bandwidth estimator. It lets apps show a 5G icon if they’re on a 5G network, basically. I’m sure that carriers will be happy because it’ll give them yet another way to hype 5G.
On the privacy and security front, Android 11 will have further restrictions on the camera and microphone. Their permissions will act a little more like location in Android 11, with apps in the background unable to access them without a “foreground service.” Android’s march to limiting access to system storage continues, with this release providing migration tools for apps.
One particularly notable bread crumb is Fast Share – said to debut as Google's own take on Apple's AirDrop file sharing feature. The release notes of Android 11's second developer preview name-drop Fast Share, and suggest that the file sharing feature is already up and running to a good extent. However, it is unclear if it remains Pixel exclusive or if it will make its way to all Android phones.
When sharing files with Fast Share between two Pixel 4 devices, the operation completes successfully, but the UI on the device which receives the file states that it did not receive the file.
5G state API - DP2 adds a 5G state API to let you quickly check whether the user is currently on a 5G New Radio or Non-Standalone network. You can use this to highlight your app’s 5G experience or branding when the user is connected
Hinge angle for foldables - A top request for foldable devices has been an API to get the angle of the device screen surfaces.
Call screening service improvements - To help users manage robocalls, we’re adding new APIs to let call-screening apps do more to help users. In addition to verifying an incoming call’s STIR/SHAKEN status (standards that protect against caller ID spoofing) as part of its call details, call-screening apps can report a call rejection reason.
New ops and controls in Neural Networks API - Activation functions control the output of nodes within a neural network. At Google AI, we discovered a swish activation function allowing for faster training time and higher accuracy across a wide variety of tasks. In Android 11, we’re adding a computationally efficient version of this function, the hard-swish op.
Resume on reboot - Android 11 improves the experience of scheduled overnight over-the-air software updates. Like in previous versions of Android, the device must still reboot to apply the OTA update, but with resume on reboot, apps are now able to access Credential Encrypted (CE) storage after the OTA reboot, without the user unlocking the device.
In Android 11, it seems Google is finally ready to release this native screen recorder. Tapping the quick settings toggle brings up the warning dialog that you’re about to start recording, then tapping “Start Now” starts the recording. To stop a recording, simply jump into your notifications and hit “Stop.”
Just like a screenshot, the screen recording notification then turns into a shortcut to view the screen recording or share it as an MP4 file. Notably, at the moment, there are no audio capture options for this screen recorder.
To make updates faster and smoother by prioritizing app compatibility as we roll out new platform versions. In Android 11 we’ve added new processes, tools, and release milestones to minimize the impact of platform updates and make them easier for developers.
When we reach Platform Stability, system behaviors, non-SDK greylists, and APIs are finalized. At this time, plan on doing your final compatibility testing and releasing your fully compatible app, SDK, or library as soon as possible so that it is ready for the final Android 11 release.
You can start compatibility testing on a Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 device, or you can use the Android Emulator. Just flash the latest build, install your current production app, and test all of the user flows. There’s no need to change the app’s targetSdkVersion at this time.
Get started with Android 11
Developer Preview has everything you need to try the Android 11 features, test your apps, and give us feedback. Just download and flash a device system image to a Pixel 2 / 2 XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, or Pixel 4 / 4 XL device, or set up the Android Emulator through Android Studio. Next, update your Android Studio environment with the Android 11 Preview SDK and tools, see the set up guide for details.