Following last month’s launch of the public preview, Google today is rolling out Android 11 Beta 2. This release moves us closer to the consumer launch later this quarter by introducing “final system behaviors” and “Platform Stability” for app developers.
With Beta 2, developers are encouraged to start “final compatibility testing” for apps, SDKs, and libraries. Google this year introduced the concept of “Platform Stability” where “all app-facing surfaces and behaviors are now final.”
This includes not only final SDK and NDK APIs, but also final system behaviors and restrictions on non-SDK interfaces that may affect apps. So from Beta 2, you can release compatibility updates with confidence that the platform won’t change.
With no further changes impacting apps, developers can use this milestone instead of the final Q3 release to get several more weeks of work in before Android 11 starts arriving on consumer devices. Google highlights the top changes for all developers:
- One-time permission: Users can now grant single-use permission to access location, device microphone and camera.
- External storage access: Apps can no longer access other apps’ files in external storage.
- Scudo hardened allocator: Now the heap memory allocator for native code in apps.
- File descriptor sanitizer: Now enabled by default to detect file descriptor handling issues for native code in apps
Apps targeting Android 11 have to be aware of Scoped Storage, more limited background location access, package visibility, compressed resource files, APK Signature Scheme v2, and heap pointer tagging. The Android engineering team is also hosting a Reddit AMA tomorrow about app compatibility.
The new OS will launch sometime in Q3 with the final release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Android 11 Beta 2 (RPB2.200611.009) system images are available for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, and Pixel 4 XL, as well as the Android Emulator. If you need help, here’s our full guide on installing Android 11.
The Android Beta Program is now live to let early adopters easily install via an OTA update.