Android 11 is nearing the finish line — there's only one more beta before it goes stable. That's why we thought we knew everything about the new OS there is to know, but it looks like the Android team might have one or two aces up its sleeve. In the All About Android podcast, Android VP Dave Burke hints that there are a few surprises left that haven't been announced yet. He also unveils that Android 11 does have an internal dessert name, after all. Meet RVC, or Red Velvet Cake.
Burke continues that the name is only used by his engineering team and won't show up anywhere, neither as a statue nor as a string in the open-source Android code, where it will simply be known as "Android R." The name is as inside baseball as it gets.
Regarding the surprises, All About Android host Jason Howell directly asks Burke whether there would be some secret launch feature coming once Android 11 goes stable, to which the VP says: "Since parts of Android are updatedable, it allows us to also offer things that don't have to be baked into the beta. We are also working on a few things I'm quite excited about that will be appearing by the end of the summer, sort of 4-6 weeks." He goes on to speak about Nearby Share, which is currently being beta-tested via Play Services, but continues to tease that there is even more to come that he "can't talk about."
Dave Burke also addresses the controversy surrounding aggressive background app kills some OEMs have taken to over recent years, referring to dont-kill-my-app.com. He says that the worst offenders are often the same manufacturers that provide stellar standby battery life, which many consumers care about a lot. That's why the team decided to monitor the situation before intervening too harshly or too softly, though there is one change: Devices on Android 11 must inform users when they restrict an app's background activity (which we previously covered and criticized). Burke promises that some big manufacturers have updates incoming in the next weeks or months that would address some of the issues, and that the Android team has a lot more coming up in that regard in the future.
Check out the full podcast to learn what Dave Burke's highlights are in Android 11, what themes the development team followed when crafting the new update, and how the platform has changed and matured over the years. It's well worth a watch or listen.
Image: Amirali Mirhashemian