Android Police

Articles Tagged:

Android R

17

Every new Android 11 feature we've spotted so far

It's that time of the year. Android 11 is here — or, at least, the first early developer previews are. We're continually combing through these new versions looking for changes, willing canaries in the Android coal mines so that you, our readers, can see what's new without having to actually risk installing it on your own phone (if you don't want to). Now that we've had some time to look around, here's everything new we've spotted.

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6

Android 11 developer preview 1 adds support for soft reboots

Major Android updates always come with a host of new features and functionality, but there are countless other changes taking place behind the scenes that set the stage for more significant improvements down the road. Among the additions in Android 11, most of us will probably never care about rebooting userspace, but it may be a first step for several other bigger enhancements to come.

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7

Android 11 continues crackdown on restricted APIs

Starting with Android P, Google began slowly closing the door on the use of non-public APIs. The process began with method calls that had little or no known usage among app developers, but things changed when Android Q expanded the list of restricted interfaces to cover a larger selection. Now with Android 11, the crackdown continues as the Android team adds even more non-public APIs to the restricted list.

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69

Android 11 does not shut down Bluetooth if you turn on Airplane mode while listening to audio (Updated)

Switching on the airplane mode is a quick and easy way to disengage your phone from any network. Unfortunately, it also kills Bluetooth, so if you were listening to music, you'd have to turn Bluetooth back on and reconnect to your headphones or speakers. It looks like Google wants to change this all-in airplane mode behavior in Android 11 R by automatically leaving Bluetooth on when you're listening to music.

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2

Project Mainline in Android 11 adds twelve new updatable modules

Project Mainline was one of the most welcome improvements in Android 10 and it's already credited for delivering some valuable security patches and subtle enhancements. With Android 11, the role of Project Mainline will be growing even more substantial and will introduce 12 new modules that will open up even more potential for Android to improve without the need for full blown firmware updates.

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4

Android R Preview SDK shows up in Android Studio

We're always on the lookout for what's to come with the future of Android, and if you're a developer, you may want to check out Android Studio right now. The Android R Preview SDK just appeared in the SDK Manager, meaning there's likely some new stuff to poke through.

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73

Android 11 might get dark mode scheduling

With Android 10, Google finally added a system-wide dark mode to its OS, but unless you want to rely on a third-party tool, there is no way to automatically schedule a theme switch on stock Android. It looks like that's bound to change, as Google wants to introduce that capability with "a future Android release," presumably version 11 of the OS.

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31

Android 11 could give file and backup managers exemptions from Scoped Storage

Google wanted to add a new API for file management called Scoped Storage to Android 10 that fundamentally changes apps' access to files. After enough developer backlash, the company decided to introduce a legacy flag for the old file access API and leave Scoped Storage completely optional until the next major OS release, though the fundamental critique remained unaddressed. According to an Android Dev Summit 2019 talk circulating on Reddit, some changes are headed developers' way. Google is considering allowing certain apps like file and backup managers access to a wider range of data while others will be stuck using Scoped Storage.

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43

Solid Explorer now works with Scoped Storage on Android Q

Perhaps the most drastic change announced for Android Q was Scoped Storage, which changes file management on Android by limiting which folders apps can access. After complaints from developers that they wouldn't be able to update their apps in time for Q, Google said it wouldn't make Scoped Storage a requirement until Android R, but well-known file manager Solid Explorer has just added support anyway.

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96

Google plans to add scrolling screenshots in Android R

The issue tracker is a good way to bring bugs and feature requests to Google's attention, but sometimes yelling at the guy who runs Android at Google is more effective. Google marked scrolling screenshots as "infeasible" in the issue tracker recently. At Google I/O this year, someone asked Dave Burke about that. Now, Burke has overruled the issue tracker decision, and scrolling screenshots will come to stock Android.

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