After a few months and a few beta versions, Android 11 is now ready not only for Pixel devices, but also for OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme phones.
The biggest changes can be found in the notification shadow, where Google has revised the handling of notifications from chat and media apps and even given users access to 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 coming days:
- All Google Pixel devices except first generation models
- OnePlus 8 & OnePlus 8 Pro
- Choose Oppo Phones
- Choose Realme Phones
- Choose Xiaomi Phones
- Choose Android One Phones
For a full list of time frames for these devices and rumored or confirmed Android 1
Feature # 1. Conversations section in the notification shadow
Perhaps the biggest change in Android 11 is how the operating system elevates messaging apps and helps them get out of the clutter. The first example is the notification shadow, which now bundles all notifications from chat apps into the Conversations section that precedes the other sections.
In the Notification section, you can even control the priority of messages based on who is sending them.
Feature # 2. Permanent media player controls in quick settings
While messaging and chat apps have top priority for notifications, controls for music and video apps skip them by jumping into the “Quick Settings” section of the shadow. You can also quickly switch the output source from the phone’s speaker to speakers, headphones, or other connected devices.
If you are running more than one media app at the same time, the apps will not receive their own notification. Instead, they share the same space in quick settings or on the lock screen that you can swipe to switch between apps.
Feature # 3. Smart Home Toggles in the power menu
If you have multiple smart home devices that are compatible with the Google ecosystem, you probably share my frustration at having to navigate to the Google Home app to control it. Android 11 gives you quick access to controls for these devices from the Power menu. The toggle switches also serve as a link to the Home app for additional control elements.
On the other hand, the smart home switches make the power menu a bit crowded. Fortunately, there is a way to turn it off.
Feature # 4. Built-in screen recorder
Android has supported third-party screen recorders for a while, but Android 11 now has native screen recordings that can be easily accessed through a quick settings tile.
The built-in screen recorder can record audio from apps during operation and / or from the smartphone microphone or both. In addition, you can choose to show finger presses in the recording, which is useful for tutorials.
Feature # 5. One-way permissions
In recent major updates, both Apple and Google have given consumers greater control over the permissions they grant apps.
In Android 11, Google added one-time permissions for microphone, camera and location. If you select these permission options “This time”, 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.
Feature 6. Expiring permissions
I have a lot of apps. You probably too. Do you know which apps have which permissions? Probably not. Do you have the time to check them all out? Doubtful too.
Android 11 was made to your rescue by “automatically resetting” permissions for unused apps, which clears the permissions for dormant apps so that they no longer manage data. Once you return to the app, you can re-grant permissions if you wish.
Feature # 7. Chat bubbles
The other improvement for chat apps is native support for chat bubbles. Chat bubbles are not for everyone. However, if you like them, you can expect to use them more often as Android 11 has native support for the UI.
Personally, I wander back and forth with chat bubbles; sometimes they disturb, sometimes they are intrusive. However, with Android 11, you can also easily change your settings. If an app that supports it doesn’t have chat bubbles enabled, all you have to do is tap the expand icon in the notification area to put the conversation in a bubble.
Feature # 8. Resizable picture-in-picture
Android has had picture-in-picture (PIP) for a while, but it lacks a customizable PIP that iOS already has. This distinction changes with Android 11, which allows fine adjustments to the PIP window size.
They are used to the implementation of PIP by iOS. Note: Android doesn’t use a multi-touch pinch gesture to resize. Instead, just touch one of the corners of the window that points towards the center of the screen and drag to adjust it.
Feature # 9. Notification history
The notification history, while not exactly new, was hidden in a settings shortcut and had minimal options for interaction.
In Android 11, the notification history is easily accessible from the bottom of the notification area. You can even view the contents of the notifications and, in some cases, jump to them in the app.
Feature # 10. Wireless ADB & Android Auto
Developers and hobbyists, rejoice! Android 11 supports wireless debugging. Now you can send command lines to your device without connecting a cable to it.
The function also extends to Android Auto. With Android 11, you no longer have to look for a cable to connect to your stereo.
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