This week (WC 7 June 2020) the first preview of Android 11 (the latest iteration in the Android smartphone operating system) was released for specific test handsets.
This brings a number of security and privacy updates as well as some functional updates that you may either love or hate.
A number of privacy focused updates are coming:
- one-time permissions to allow users to grant apps temporary permissions to access the device’s location, microphone, and camera using one-time permissions
- automated permissions reset for apps that haven’t been used by users for a few months
- discourages requests for permissions that users have chosen to repeatedly deny
- changes to how users can grant apps background location access and will also add one-time location access prompts
- scope storage enforcement o better protect app and user data on external storage
- more granular controls for the most sensitive permissions.
A number of new security updates are coming in Android 11 as follows:
- immediately encrypt the users’ data after over-the-air (OTA) updates without requiring user credentials input
- block access to the users’ app usage information until the device is unlocked for the first time after it restarts or the users switch to their accounts
- Android 11 will also use SSL sockets based on Conscrypt’s SSL engine by default and the Scudo Hardened Allocator to service heap allocations as a mitigation measure against some types of memory safety violations.
All Android updates come with a few new and enhanced features, including:
- Native screen recording:
- Muting notifications during video
- Increase touch sensitivity
- Notification History
- Revamped power menu
- New text selection mode in overview menu
- Media players now head to quick settings
- Undoing recently cleared apps
- Ability to dismiss persistent app notifications
- Airplane mode doesn’t kill Bluetooth
- App pinning in the share menu
- Enhanced notification shade conversations
- Upgraded Voice Access capabilities
- Conversation bubbles
- Context-aware dark mode
- Support for folding phones
- Support for 5G.
You can read more abut these features over on Android Authority and Android central does a “Android 11 – What you need to know” feature.
Android 11, similar to Android 10, is a consolidation release with very few cutting-edge new features.
Android 11 will in all likelihood be released in the Autumn on Googles own Pixel phone brand, and other third party handsets at their own schedule after that. some phones won’t get the update at all as they will be totally unsupported for new feature updates.