After a brief delay to give way for more important voices to be heard, Google finally revealed Android 11 Beta to the mobile world. This is pretty much the signal for manufacturers and developers to get their act together now that the platform has more or less settled on what new features it will have. Of course, Google hasn’t yet revealed all that there is to be revealed and some pieces are only now being noticed by keen-eyed Android enthusiasts.
Given the wide variety of Android phones from different manufacturers, it’s not always that easy to upgrade from one phone to another, unlike on iPhones. Google, of course, has been trying to make that easier by allowing users to store their settings to its cloud, and now it’s doing something similar for individual apps. A new Block Store feature will practically store a user’s authentication or login credentials so that installing the same app on another phone with the same Google account will automatically sign them into the app.
But what if you already have the app installed and are just signing in or signing up? Android 11’s One Tap will allow you to easily do that with your Google Account without bothering you with alternative sign-in options. Pretty much sounds like Google’s version of Sign in with Apple.
A long-rumored new feature for Android is Nearby Sharing, something the platform has flip-flopped over the years. This might finally be coming to Android 11, allowing users to utilize Bluetooth and ad hoc Wi-Fi connections to easily and quickly share files.
There will, of course, be concerns about security and privacy, especially with features that involve storing credentials even or especially on Google’s cloud. We’ll have to wait and see how popular these features will be, especially for apps and services that might still prefer doing their own account management.