Yesterday, Google released Android 11 Developer Preview 2, bringing in more features that should be part of Android 11's stable build. Alongside that, it has also revealed the timeline by when it expects Android 11 to be ready for rolling out as a bug free, stable build. The new features are mostly targeted at helping developers prepare their apps for the future Android version, which is natural since this is not a beta version for users to preview and test. As a result of this, Google has recommended that only developers access this preview, and has made it a manually downloadable file that developers will have to willingly flash on their Pixel 2, 3, 3a and Pixel 4 devices (to download, click here).
In terms of features, Google's second Android 11 preview adds the option for developers to test apps that automatically adapt to the angle of fold on a display, thereby leading to the building of responsive and adaptive mobile applications for foldable phones. It also gets a new 5G API, using which apps that can connect to a compatible phone's 5G network will show a 5G logo on the notifications bar. This isn't particularly useful, and only serves as a gimmick for brands to squabble over.
Other features include tighter privacy control, where background apps will no longer be able to access your camera and microphone without being allowed by a user voluntarily. Google had already added this control for location settings, and with camera and microphone access also getting the same, it is good to note that Google is focusing on privacy in these trying times. The developer preview also adds refresh rate control for apps, allowing them to work at their preferred display refresh rates in phones with high refresh rate displays.
Another nifty new feature is the automatic background service resumption for chat and email applications post a restart. This will be particularly useful when updating devices overnight. The new developer preview will also allow developers to migrate their apps from legacy storage to scoped storage systems, hence preparing them for the eventual Android 11 rollout.
As described by Google's VP of engineering Dave Burke, the first and second developer previews of Android 11 were scheduled for February and March, and have now met their timelines. Post this, the user-oriented beta versions of Android 11 will be worked upon in April and May. Finally, between June and September is when Google expects to release the stable version of Android 11, which suits the typical timeline of when Android versions are officially unveiled.