Android 11 Developer Preview just released: It's 1 louder

Today Android 11 was released in a Developer Preview for the masses. This new version of the Android operating system from Google includes significant changes in APIs for 5G, media, biometrics, sharing, and more. Devices that'll be able to access Android 11 Developer Preview include Google Pixel 4 / 4XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, and Pixel 2 / 2 XL. To install a Developer Preview to your device, you'll need to wipe all data on your device.

The image shared by Google Developers for this newest build of Android shows what might very well be a volume knob. If so, this is a clear reference to Spinal Tap. "If you can see, the numbers all go... to... 11... all across the board."

This newest version of Android includes a bunch of new features – BUT – only a few that Google's thus far revealed. We've got Performant graphics debug layer injection – with external graphics layers (GLES, Vulkan) for native application code. We've got some new batch operations for media files functionality, and rich media in quick replies – that's for the replies you can drop in notifications for chat apps and such.

This newest version of Android includes support for the cacheing of large datasets on individual devices using "shared data blobs." Developers will be able to request and check for low latency support. Android developers will be able to work with a brand new "NDK ImageDecoder API" for direct image decoding without the need for framework APIs via JNI or bundled image-decoding libraries – neat!

• Date: February 19, 2020

• Build: RPP1.200123.016

• Emulator support: x86 (32/64-bit)

• Security patch level: March 2020

• Google Play services: 20.04.14

• API diff: API 29 → DP1

In the release notes for Android 11, you'll find references to both Android 11 and Android R. This follows the naming scheme of previous Android versions, most of which where given desert names as well – Donut, Oreo, Pie, and the like.

To gain access to Android R, or Android 11, Developer Preview, you'll want to head over to Android Developers (Developer Preview) right now. There you'll find the sign-up sheet. You'll also find tools and resources for development of Android apps for this newest version of Android.