What you need to know
- Google has announced Android 11 Developer Preview 2.
- Notable updates include better support for foldables, improvements to call screening, and additional updates to scoped storage.
- Developer Preview 2 is not intended for daily use, but can be installed using the new Android Flash Tool.
Even with the COVID-19 Coronavirus continuing to disrupt daily life in and out of the tech world, it hasn't stopped Google from rolling out the latest build of Android 11. On March 18, the company took the wraps off of Android 11 Developer Preview 2.
Developer Preview 2 doesn't bring any major user-facing changes compared to Developer Preview 1, but there are a lot of behind-the-scenes improvements that are worth talking about. First and foremost, this latest preview introduces better compatibility with foldable phones and 5G networks. The new hinge angle sensor API makes it easier for developers to detect the hinge placement of a foldable phone, allowing for more "adaptive experiences for foldables."
As for 5G, Developer Preview 2 adds the 5G state API so developers can seamlessly see if a user is connected to a 5G New Radio or Non-Standalone network. According to Google, this will allow devs to "highlight your app's 5G experience or branding when the user is connected."
Another area of focus is improving Android's call screening. Per Google:
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, and with permission they can see whether a call is to/from a number in the user's contacts.
Other highlights include:
- Camera and microphone permission requests for the foreground now require the "foregroundServiceType" to promote more accountability.
- Migration tool to move files from Android's legacy storage to the new scoped storage.
- Apps and games can indicate what refresh rate they should be run at (60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz).
- Resume on reboot for a more seamless booting experience after installing an update overnight.
Similar to Developer Preview 1, Developer Preview 2 is not intended for general use and is recommended to only be installed by developers. You'll need to manually download/flash the software onto your phone, or take advantage of the new Android Flash Tool. Also, anyone already on Developer Preview 1 or 1.1 will get an over-the-air update to download and install Developer Preview 2.
If you're interested in rocking Developer Preview 2, you can get it for the Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4.
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