An Early Look at the Developer Preview of Android 11

Notification bubbles, screen recording, scrolling screenshots, and improved privacy settings are here

Siva Ganesh Kantamani
Feb 24 · 4 min read

Let’s talk about the most exciting features of the next version of Android.

Google has just released the Android 11 developer preview with new features and privacy enhancements. Hopefully, everything you read here might make it to the stable release.

Without further ado, let’s start with the new features in Notifications.

Notifications Changes

  1. Conversations


Conversations are one of the new features that none of us expected from Google this year. Although every Android release has improvements in Notifications, this is totally out of the blue.

With conversations, Google is trying to make it easy for us to find the conversations-related notifications in the ocean of Notifications. With this, the notifications related to chatting (WhatsApp, Hangouts, Messenger) will be grouped into a separate section and shown at the top.

Paste images

There is no doubt that inline replies in the Notification panel are one of the best features in Android.

Taking that to the next level in Android 11, you can send images from the Notification panel itself through a copy-paste option. There is no need to open any app just for the sake of sending attachments.


Chat bubble is the feature that has appeared in the early beta versions of Android Q, then gone into thin air in the stable releases.

With Bubbles, messaging apps can show the conversations in a floating layout like the fancy chat heads from Facebook’s Messenger application. Right now, you can try it with the notifications of the Messaging app in the Android 11 developer preview.

One-Time Permissions

Google is trying to improve security with each release. As a part of that in Android 10, we’ve seen new options in the permissions dialog like Allow only while using the app.

Now, in Android 11, we have even more control over permissions with a new option: Only this time.

Unlike the previous version, Android 11 provided this option to location, camera, and microphone permissions, which make sense as they’re the topmost privacy-related concerns.

Google also removed Allow always from the permissions dialog, which might be a problem to apps like Uber and Ola. As this is the first developer preview, we don’t know whether these changes will make it up to the stable releases.

Screen Recorder

screen recorder in quick settings

Finally, the native screen Recorder is here; it was first appeared in the early beta versions of Android Q and vanished in the stable release. Now, it is back again with a revamped UI.

We can access this option under the Quick settings panel. As of now, it has fundamental functionality. There is no option to record internal audio or customize video resolution yet. Hopefully, we can see them in future releases.

Scrolling Screenshots

Samsung, LG, and other OEMs are the first ones to try and bring new features to the users, and if it is popular enough, Google might implement it in the stock Android.

Scrolling screenshots is one of the features many Android fans have been waiting for, and it’s finally here.

Scrolling screenshots isn’t an out-of-the-box option in the developer preview, but folks at XDA have tried to see it in their mysterious ways. Have a look at the screenshot from XDA.

Auto Dark Mode

Scheduling dark mode in Android 11

The auto dark mode is one of the options that was highly anticipated when Google introduced Dark Mode in Android last year.

Now it is here, we can set custom timings, or we can choose the option to turn on at sunset and turn off at sunrise automatically. We don’t need to use third-party apps anymore to automate dark mode in stock Android.

Other New Features

Option to pin apps in the share screen

The option to pin apps at the top of the share screen is back for good in Android 11. This isn’t a new feature, but it was removed in Android 10 for some reason, maybe to make it faster.

Mute notifications while shooting videos

Android 11 also mutes notifications while recording videos which makes sense. This might not be an extraordinary feature, but it’s a feature that is good to have.

Notifications history

Notifications history is the new feature in Android 11 to see the prior notifications of a specific app, and you can access it through the activity launcher for now. I hope this will make it to stable releases.

Music player in Quick settings

Android 11 has a music player in the quick settings like iOS. I think it’s good to have the music player in the quick settings rather than in the Notification panel.

Improved Bluetooth connectivity

With Android 11, turning on airplane mode no longer disconnects Bluetooth. So, you don’t need to reconnect your headphones whenever you turn on airplane mode, which is one of the most annoying things in Android.

Thank you for reading.

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Thanks to Zack Shapiro

Siva Ganesh Kantamani

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Better Programming

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