After a few months and a couple of beta versions, Android 11 is now ready not only for Pixel devices but also mobile phones from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme.
The biggest changes are in Notification Shade, where Google has updated how they handle notifications from chat and media apps and even made it possible for users to access their notification history.
While you wait for the update to download, here are ten new features to look forward to in Android 11.
The following phones will receive the Android 11 update in the next few days:
- All Google Pixel devices except first generation models
- OnePlus 8 & OnePlus 8 Pro
- Select Oppo Phones
- Select Realme Phones
- Select Xiaomi phones
- Select Android One phones
For a complete list of time frames for these devices and rumored or confirmed Android 11 updates for other devices, see our full guide below.
Function # 1. Conversation section in Notification Shade
Perhaps the biggest change in Android 11 is how the operating system lifts messaging applications and helps them cut through the clutter. The first example comes in the Notification Shade, which now collects all notifications from chat apps in the Conversation section, which comes before the other sections.
In the Messages section, you can even control the priority of messages based on who sends them.
Function # 2. Persistent media player controls in quick settings
While messaging and chat apps have the highest priority among notifications, the music and video app controls skip them by jumping into the Quick Settings section in the shade. You can also quickly switch the output source from the phone speakers to speakers, headphones or other connected devices.
In addition, if you are running more than one media app at a time, the apps will not have their own notification. Instead, they share the same space in Quick Settings or the lock screen, where you can swipe to switch between apps.
Function # 3. Smart Home switches in the power menu
If you have several smart home devices that are compatible with Google’s ecosystem, you’ll probably share my frustration at having to navigate to the Google Home app to control them. With Android 11, you can quickly access controls for these devices via the power menu. For additional controls, the switches also act as a shortcut to the Home app.
On the downside, the smart home switches make the Power menu a bit crowded. Fortunately, there is a way to disable them.
Function # 4. Built-in screen recorder
Android has been supporting third-party screen recorders for a while now, but Android 11 now comes with built-in screen recording that is easily accessible via a quick setting tray.
The built-in screen recorder can capture sound from apps when they work and / or the smartphone microphone, or from none of them. In addition, you can specify whether you want fingerprints to appear in the recording, which is useful for guidance.
Function # 5. Disposable condition
During their recent major updates, both Apple and Google have given consumers more control over the permissions they grant to apps.
In Android 11, Google has added one-time permissions for microphone, camera and location. When you select these “this time” permission options, Android will revoke the permissions when the app is closed, and the app will have to ask for your permission again the next time the app needs access to one of these sensors.
Function 6. Output permissions
I have many apps. You probably do too. Do you know which apps have which permissions? Probably not. Do you have time to check them all? Also questionable.
Android 11 has come to your rescue with “automatic reset” of permissions for unused apps, which clears permissions for dormant apps so that they do not continue to cultivate data. Once you return to the app, you can grant the permissions again if you wish.
Function # 7. Chat bubbles
The other enhancement for chat apps comes with built-in chat bubble support. Chat bubbles are not for everyone. But if you like them, you can expect to use them more often, as Android 11 provides built-in support for the user interface.
Personally, I migrate back and forth with chat bubbles; sometimes they get in the way, sometimes they are intrusive. Android 11 also makes it easy to switch between your preferences. If chat bubbles are not on for an app that supports them, you just need to tap the expansion icon in the message window to pop up the conversation in a bubble.
Function # 8. Changeable picture-in-picture
Android has had picture-in-picture (PIP) for a while now, but it has lacked great PIP, which iOS already has. The difference changes with Android 11, which allows fine-tuning of PIP window size.
They are used to iOS ‘implementation of PIP note: Android does not use a multitouch pinch gesture to resize. Instead, just tap one of the window corners that points toward the center of the screen and drag to adjust.
Function 9. Notification history
While the notification history is not exactly new, it was hidden in a settings shortcut and had minimal interaction options.
In Android 11, the notification history is easily accessible from the back of the notification window. You can even see the content of the notifications and in some cases jump to them in the app.
Function # 10. Wireless ADB and Android Auto
Developers and tinkers, rejoice! Android 11 supports wireless troubleshooting. Now you can send command lines to your device without connecting a cable to it.
The feature also extends to Android Auto. You no longer have to fumble for a cable to connect to your stereo with Android 11.
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