If you ever thought the foldable devices were just a gimmick or a tangible thing for the future, then you need to simply just look at Google’s new features that they have brought to Android in their new Developer Preview for Android 11 to see the focus that they are giving to foldable technologies.
At the top of that list is an API that allows a foldable smartphone to tell apps what angle the hinge is bent at. Something which comes in handy for many of the foldable devices, especially the upcoming Surface Duo to understand how best to light or align the screen for better usage. The new version will also be more adaptable with regards to how it handles multiple or split screens and will give developers more to work with on that front. A key indicator that Google is taking these foldable and split-screen devices seriously.
Along with this are changes to the refresh rate. Android 11 will now handle variable refresh rates at a system level, so developers and manufacturers won’t have to roll out their own solutions. Given the proliferation of 90 and 120Hz screens coming out it’s an important change and hopefully will reduce a lot of the software fragmentation we get from manufactures trying to manage this themselves.
There will also be a new API to check on a call’s SHAKEN/STIR status to cater for call screening apps as well as a way to check on the 5G status of the network, essentially an on/off switch in addition to the bandwidth estimator. Features which are becoming increasingly important in the modern communication world where having as fast a connection speed as possible is vital.
Outside of these changes, there are the usual security upgrades, especially related to cameras and biometrics. There is no official release date for the new version of Android just yet and with the Covid-19 affecting every industry, it might still be a while before work on this completes.
Last Updated: March 19, 2020