Android 10 is up and running on more smartphones than last year’s score of Pie. But as it happens always, news and rumors about the next major Android version (which is Android R or Android 11 as Google would call it) have started to show up already.
If things go as per the usual schedule, we can expect the first Android R beta sometime in the month of March. Right now, all we know about is a couple of Android R features that may or may not make it to the final release in the second half of 2020.
But as our knowledge bank increases, we’ll continue to expand this list of Android 11 features over the coming months.
Android 11 R Features – Everything we know so far
Your phone will work as Driver’s License
How many times has it happened that we realize about forgetting the Driver’s License at home only when a cop knocks the window glass? Google and Qualcomm are working together on a feature that will let users store their Driver’s License or any other digital ID on their smartphone itself. The data will be secured with the help of Android Identity Credential APIs.
However, this Android R feature is only supported on the recently announced Snapdragon 865 SoC. Hopefully ( and of course), we’ll get to see it on more chips when it becomes a reality.
Also, such apps do exist already, for instance, the government of India’s DigiWallet app that fetches all your documents in a few taps. But Google and Qualcomm bringing in hardware-backed security should make it even safer.
Bluetooth remains ON in Airplane Mode
Another change that Google might bring is Android R won’t turn off the Bluetooth radio when Airplane mode is enabled. It was spotted in a new AOSP commit titled “Context-aware Bluetooth airplane mode” by XDA.
This could turn out to be of great help to users with hearing aids or people who realize they were wearing Bluetooth headphones only after they accidentally cut off the connection. Anyway, if want to turn it off you could do it manually, or Google might make the feature optional.
So, these are the bunch of changes and features related to the upcoming Android R. This time we don’t have to brainstorm for Android R’s name, as Google has officially dropped the dessert naming scheme and it will be called Android 11.
Other than that nothing much is on the table yet. But stay tuned for more updates on Android R features.