Android 11 Beta has finally launched with main themes focusing on People, Controls, and Privacy

Google was supposed to launch the latest version of Android in the Google I/O this year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event got canceled. Instead, the Android team decided to launch the Android 11 in a virtual event, which was originally decided to be held last week.

However, Google later canceled the virtual launch event also to let people focus on more important discussions revolving around the police brutality and racial injustice. To honor these latest happenings, Google decided to launch the Android 11 Beta 1 in a very subtle manner.

The company released more than a dozen videos on YouTube that were originally scheduled for the I/O. It will also host 11 Weeks of Android to cover topics related to the User Interface, Google Play Store and Machine Learning. Also, Google plans to hold online Android 11 Meetups.

Android 11 Beta 1 focuses on three main themes:
  1. People
  2. Controls
  3. Privacy
Since Google intends to make Android less robotic and more people-centric and expressive, so it has added features that can make the Android reimagine the way humans converse on their phones.

There is a dedicated section at the top of the notification tab called ‘Conversations.’

This version also allows specific actions that let the users set reminders for various things and create shortcuts to threads on the home screen.

Another change that is going to be present in this version is the ability of users to pop-out conversations with the feature ‘Bubbles.’ These Bubbles give access to open a full conversation over whatever the user is doing with one click. Google highly recommends developers to adopt this API for Android 11.

There are some consolidated keyboard suggestions along with Voice Access using an on-device visual cortex that understands the content on the screen and its context. It then generates labels and access points for accessibility commands. This way, an operating system that can recognize and prioritize the most important people in your life can be created.

For Controls, this Android version has improved the controlling system of all smart home devices and Bluetooth accessories. Google Home supports the new API that can let you turn on or off the lights or adjust the brightness more easily.

There are some tweaks in the Media Controls settings too. They can let you switch the output of playing audio or video to headphones, speakers, or TV sets.

‘Now Playing’ is now integrated with Quick Settings. This feature can be enabled in Beta 1 from Developer Options > “Media resumption” before it is available for the official rollout.

As far as Privacy settings are concerned, Android 11 gives one-time permissions to let you limit app access to the device’s mic, location, and camera. However, these permissions will auto-reset if you do not use an app for a specific time period.

On the other hand, Google Play Store will also be reviewing all Android apps requesting background location access. Existing apps will be given an extension until 2021 to come to terms with this change.

The Android Beta Program is live now for early adopters and they can easily install it through an Over-the-air update.

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