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Android 11 takes another big step towards hitting your smartphone

Google is ramping up its preparations for Android 11 with the release of the third (and what’s likely to be the final) developer preview for the forthcoming major operating system update.

Android 11 DP3, which is designed strictly for developers to help prep their apps, focuses largely on bug fixes. But it’s an important step as Google prepares to launch the first public beta versions to arrive in the weeks to come.

The company has already promised us the first open beta versions in May, which owners of multiple Android devices should be able to test through the summer, ahead of the release on Pixel devices during the third-quarter of the year.

So what are we seeing from a consumer perspective within the Android 11 DP3 release? 9to5Google reports the new screenshot UI, which places the thumbnail at the bottom of the display a la iOS has gone live in DP3. That enables users to interact with the screenshot (by sharing or editing) without delving into the Photos app.

Related: Android 11 features

The site also points out the ‘Recents’ multitasking cards are now larger, while also offering the opportunity to screenshot and share from those windows. Gesture sensitivity can now be independently adjusted for the left and right edges.

The other new features are very much developer focused, but Google is adding wireless debugging here. That means folks won’t have to hook up to a computer via USB in order to resolve these issues. Google is also adding tools to improve security for developers, thanks to a protocol called GWP-ASan, as well as providing developers with written reasons why users have exited their apps. Large APK transfers are now almost 10x faster, but none of that is very relevant for consumers.

We’re expecting the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL to be the first phones to arrive with Android 11 out of the box, but the launch for previous-generation handsets should come before that. We’ll have much more news about new features next month when Google spills the beans.

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