Google releases second Android 11 developer preview

Android 11 header 2

Google has released the second developer preview of Android 11 for testing before the software rolls out to the public this summer. The company put out the first developer preview last month, and while this month’s release is still intended only for developers, Google is making it slightly easier to install by supporting installs through the Android Flash Tool.

The company lists a number of new featured packed inside the new beta, including a new 5G state API. This lets app developers tell whether a user’s phone is connected to 5G in order to present a new set of features or a different UI. I can imagine carriers are gonna have fun with this API in their own apps.

Android 11 DP2 also brings native support to Android to tell what angle a foldable is being held. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip has a free-stop hinge that lets you prop it up at a ~60-degree angle to make video calls. Instead of having to build special software to support the feature, Android, moving forward, will natively support it.

Call screening will also see improvements like the ability to report a call rejection reason. In the security department, access to your camera and microphone will become stricter and act more like accessing your location within apps. Google is also working to better protect app and user data on external storage.

One feature that seems incredibly obvious to include in an Android 11 developer preview is native refresh rate control. Up until this point, vanilla Android has never handled refresh rates beyond 60Hz, and it’s never controlled them at a system level. But with all the new phones coming out nowadays that have faster refresh rates, it only makes sense for Android 11 to support the feature at its core.

Some other new additions, according to Google, are smoother animations when an app’s UI is sliding across the screen, “resume on reboot” which lets apps start accessing data right after your phone turns back on without having to unlock first, improved app compatibility, and new controls for developers in the Neural Networks API.

All of this goes without mentioning the new user-facing features inside the second Android 11 preview like a redesigned wallpaper picker, a tweaked UI for notifications, a “require eyes to be open” option for Pixel 4 facial recognition users, and even more theming options. If you wanna read about all of this, I recommend checking out 9to5Google‘s coverage – they always do a great job covering every feature in new versions of Android.

To install the second Android 11 preview, you can manually flash it here. In addition, those who have the first Android 11 preview installed on a compatible Pixel phone will get an OTA update soon.

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