Less than a month after releasing Android 11 Developer Preview 1, Google has started rolling out the second developer preview for the next iteration of its mobile operating system. The software is expected to have 1 more DP and 3 betas before the first stable build is released in Q3, 2020. Android 11 Developer Preview 2 is available via manual download for Pixel 2 / 2XL, Pixel 3 / 3XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL and Pixel 4 / 4XL, but devices already running DP1 will get the new release via an OTA update.
In DP2, Google is adding new features to help keep users secure and increase transparency and control. first and foremost is the addition of ‘Camera’ and ‘Microphone’ to the manifest attribute foregroundServiceType that was originally introduced in Android 10. The change, says Google, will help ensure more accountability for specific use-cases. Android 11 will also bring more enhancements to the Scoped Storage model, giving better protection to app data and other files on external storage.
DP2 also brings multiple developer-oriented changes that Google believes will help elevate the overall user experience. One such change includes a ‘5G State API’ that lets apps and services take advantage of higher 5G speeds and lower latency by quickly determining whether an user is currently on a 5G New Radio or Non-Standalone network. There’s also an AndroidX API that supports a ‘Hinge Angle Sensor’ in foldables, enabling apps to know the precise hinge angle to create adaptive experiences for foldables. DP2 also brings new ops and controls in Neural Networks API, better call-screening service to filter out robocalls, and more.
With high-refresh-rate displays becoming more common in Android smartphones, Android 11 DP2 also adds a new API that would enable apps and games to set a preferred frame rate for their windows. On devices that support high refresh rates, the system uses the app’s preferred frame rate to choose the best refresh rate for the app. Other changes include more seamless scheduled updates, camera support for the Android emulator and better app compatibility to reduce the impact of platform updates.
You can go over to Google’s official Android blog for more details on all the new features and get the direct download links. Do remember, however, that the factory images may have some critical bugs that are yet to be quashed, so it would be for the best if you didn’t install it on your daily driver. If that doesn’t deter you, then either download and flash a system image to a compatible Pixel device, or set up the Android Emulator through Android Studio. You can follow this guide to update your Android Studio environment with the Android 11 Preview SDK and tools.