Google has dropped the first developer preview of Android 11, its next big mobile operating system.
The preview is the first one to have come from Google and is pretty basic, just like all initial releases.
However, that is not to say Android 11 is completely banal; the OS sure packs some interesting tweaks, which many of you may like.
Let's take a look.
Floating bubbles for chats
As most updates in the developer preview are not really front-facing, only a few things set Android 11 apart right now.
One of these is the new 'bubbles' feature, which brings floating chat-heads on the screen to let you continue conversations while using the phone.
They only work with Android Messages at present, but we hope to see support for other apps too.
Dedicated 'conversation' section in notification shade
In addition to bubbles, Google has also added a dedicated 'conversation' section in the notification shade, The Verge reports.
The area will host all new notifications from messaging apps, keeping them separate for other, less important stuff such as app updates, Instagram updates, and emails.
It has been designed to make chats more accessible, and keep the focus on communication.
Improved app permissions to keep things private
Beyond messaging, Google is also upgrading permission settings with an option to give apps only temporary access to the camera, microphone, and location data.
The feature is similar to that offered by iOS and will build on the options introduced last year, including the one that restricted apps to use mic and other features only when they are actively in use.
Screen recording is also here
Android 11 developer preview also hosts the long-awaited screen recording feature.
The capability had shown up in Android 10 beta versions, but couldn't make it to the final version.
Now, Google has upgraded the whole interface of the app, which indicates that it will finally become available for users with the stable release of Android 11 OS.
Other minor changes noticed in Android 11
The OS also includes some minor tweaks here and there such as automated toggles for dark mode, a motion sense gesture to play music on Pixel 4, and the option to pin apps on top of the share sheet for quick sharing.
Also, there is a new screenshot UI and an upgraded Airplane mode to make sure Bluetooth connections are not disabled.
More features to surface in coming months
While the features are interesting, it's worth noting that this isn't everything that Android 11 will have on offer. This is just a developer preview and we will see more, potentially big, features as Google proceeds with more releases, moving closer to stable rollout.