Every year, around Apple WWDC time, I like taking off my Android geek and fan cap, putting it aside, and enjoying what our friends-slash-rivals from Cupertino are doing for their users. While a few years ago, I might've enjoyed discussions about which OS was superior, these days I'm mellower and more pragmatic. iOS has borrowed a lot from Android and continues to do so, and vice-versa. The two ecosystems have a mutually beneficial rivalry and keep pushing themselves further, and in doing so keep pushing each other too.
That's why I have fun watching WWDC's main keynote. I expect Apple to implement a few features that I've been wanting on Android for years, and to add a few innovative and obvious options that I never knew I needed but now can't get out of my head.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Android 11 may look like a relatively iterative release of Google's mobile operating system, at least on the surface. But we're not so sure. Android's latest update features changes large and small, some of which you can't even see, but that could have a significant impact on the platform going forward. We've compiled a list of what we think are at least 100 of the new and notable changes—a list that's only bound to grow as we near its official release.
Google has already released several Developer Previews of Android 11 for smartphones, but there has been no news on the update for smart TVs and streaming boxes. That changes today, as the first Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV is now available — but only for one device.
For years, Apple has allowed you to share files seamlessly with friends and across your iOS and macOS devices via AirDrop. While Android used to support something similar with the NFC-based Android Beam, the feature never really saw wide adoption and was removed with the launch of Android 10 last year. But Google has been working on a much more powerful replacement that's more in line with AirDrop: Nearby Share, which only recently showed up in an Android 11 developer video. While we initially thought it would only allow you to exchange files and links with closeby friends, evidence is mounting that sharing with Google Chrome might also be an option.
Android 11 has reached its "beta" milestone, and while we'll still probably see a few tweaks over the coming months, the general concepts and big-feature changes in the next Android release are just about set in stone. But while the common refrain is that Android 11 is a more minor (or even boring) update to Google's Android platform, the longer I use it, I'm not sure that's fair to say.
A bug-fixing update is now rolling out for folks in the Android 11 Beta Program. According to the release notes, although it has a hefty 0.5 increment, it only includes four changes: All bugfixes. And one of them (Google Pay support) is already present in the previous release.
If you're on the Android 11 Beta and watch videos from any major social platform, you might have seen the stream go haywire. Well, you should know that you're not alone — we've seen it with our own eyes across a couple different apps and reports across forums say they've been affected elsewhere, too. And there's some good news at the end of this mess.
The second Developer Preview of Android 11 replaced the built-in file manager with Files by Google, the same application that was already present on the Play Store (and pre-installed on Android Go phones). However, the Files app on Android 11 has a slightly different appearance than the same app on Android 10 phones, and there is some added functionality.