Android 11 launched: Improved Old Features

Android 11 launched: It just seems like yesterday that Google released Android 10. But actually , it’s already been a year since the corporate abandoned its traditional naming scheme after a dessert, and came up with Android 10 in September 2019. the newest data from Statcounter shows that Android 10.0 has been installed in 29.04% of Android tablets and smartphones making it slightly before 9.0 (Pie) at 28.19%. And just yesterday, Google unrolled the most recent Android 11 update. Let’s inspect what’s future on the newest version of Android.

Android 11 Overview

As expected, Android 11 doesn’t bring a serious visual overhaul (well, maybe in one area but more thereon later). Instead, it’s more about under-the-hood and quality-of-life changes and a few genuinely helpful new features I can’t wait to undertake out. Google is highlighting the upgrades to Android 11 into 6 different categories.

#1. Conversations

Google has baked Facebook Messenger’s “Chat Heads”-like feature directly into Android 11 and is looking it “Bubbles”. Personally, I’ve never been a lover of Messenger’s Chat Heads so I’m unsure how I feel about Bubbles yet. Here, different messaging apps like Messages, Telegram, Messenger, etc. are bundled into a touch bubble that floats on your screen. As of now, not every chat app supports this feature but that ought to happen pretty soon. For people using multiple messaging platforms simultaneously, this multitasking feature is certainly getting to be handy.

Google is looking Android 11 “the OS that gets to what’s important.” during this bid towards keeping a decent check on your precedence, the notification center now features a dedicated “Conversations” area for all of your messaging apps. you’ll also mark certain contacts as priorities which can also show abreast of your lock screen just in case there’s a replacement development in your chat history. This one’s a very well-thought-out feature I’d say.

Although Android 10 already introduced the choice to enable/disable different categories of notification from installed apps, many of us are still annoyed when a swarm of app notifications hit their device. during this horde of primarily unimportant alerts, one could easily miss out on new messages from someone. So, Google has found a clever solution against that with the separate Conversations tab.

#2. Content Capture

One of the foremost requested features on any Android update has been the built-in screen recording. Although Google had already attempted to bring this in Android 10 as spotted in many of its Developer Previews, the corporate ultimately couldn’t. However, Android 11 is finally including a fully-functional screen record function, eliminating the necessity for a third-party app. Here, you’ll easily record the content on your phone’s screen, including audio (from the mic, device, or both) and screen touches for visual cues. It also features a separate quick settings tile for quick access.

Android 11 also allows you to pick . copy text and pictures from different apps with ease. Something exclusive to Pixel phones (at least for now) is that you simply can copy, save, and share the chosen info between apps. Another new area where you’ll select, copy, search, and share the chosen text is that the recent/multitasking menu. Users can drag text from apps even when they’re on the “recent apps” screen. Similarly, the recents menu sees a minor visual overhaul also .

Starting with Android 10, Google ditched the thought of vertical recents layout. Instead, it switched to a horizontal look. Frankly, I wasn’t a lover of this alteration . the cardboard of the apps open within the memory would take up a majority of the screen with a maximum of two apps being accessible at a time. Android 11 takes it a step further. The cards are now much larger, and you’ll still need to swipe to the left to access the “Clear All” option. Additionally, it also adds “Screenshot” and “Share” on rock bottom portion of the screen.

#3. Predictive Tools

Before stepping into this, I should tell you that the majority of the features under “Predictive Tools” in Android 11 are exclusive to Pixel devices. Predictive texting has been a thing in Android for a short time now. Yet within the latest update, Google has worked to form it tons better, and thus, Gboard now gives far better suggestions including both text and emojis in order that you don’t need to type out/speak the entire thing.

Another Pixel-exclusive feature is app suggestions. counting on your usage pattern and routine, Android 11 will automatically suggest you apps on rock bottom row of the house screen that you simply might want to use. Finally, the “Smart Folders” feature gives users the name suggestion for folders supported the sort of apps included in them.

#4. Accessibility

Under this, Google says that it’s greatly improved “Voice Access” in terms of ease and speed in Android 11. Using this, people can access menus, make selections using their voice rather than physical interaction with the phone. Available in English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French language, this feature now works in offline mode too.

Furthermore, Android 11 also includes a talkback braille keyboard using which you’ll type braille without requiring any additional software. Further assisting the visually impaired on the remake of Android is “Lookout” that has two new modes – Scan Document and Food Label. With this, people with low vision or blindness can still know what their document or food entails.

#5. Device Controls

Seamless control of all the AIoT products in your home using just your phone is another exciting new feature on Android 11. For this reason, Google has entirely revamped the facility menu. The now drab-looking panel for powering off or restarting your phone has been replaced with a replacement design that takes up the whole screen. Accessing it’s an equivalent because it always has been (by long-pressing the facility button) but you get an entire lot of options to play with.

Android 11 Device Controls

The top portion includes the regular Emergency, Restart, and Power menus while the center area is that the home to Google Pay and other NFC bank cards that you’ve added. Finally, rock bottom portion holds a simple center for your smart home devices sort of a lamp, thermostats, etc. Moving on, media controls are tweaked on Android 11 too.

Instead of taking over an outsized screen real-estate on the notification center, all the media playback apps now sit on the fast Settings menu. you’ll also swipe through these apps for better control. On top of this, there’s also a simple thanks to switch between different audio output devices like Bluetooth speakers, TWS earphones, etc. to regulate the device that your phone’s media plays on. Android Auto is additionally fully wireless starting on Android 11 (but requires 5GHz WiFi connection). Bluetooth airplane mode also sees a quality-of-life improvement as BT headphones or hearing aids will now remain connected to the phone even once you enable Airplane mode.

#6. Privacy & Security

Google doubled down on user privacy starting Android 10 with stricter and more transparent privacy policies. It introduced options where users can specify how and when different apps can access the phone’s resources like camera, storage, microphone, etc. the corporate is introducing “One-time permissions” in Android 11 on top of “while in use” access in Android 10. With this, an app would need to invite the specified permission every single time it’s launched. And once you deny certain permission several times, that app are going to be blocked from posing for it altogether.

Android 11 Privacy Security

Your phone also will automatically reset previously granted sensitive permissions, just in case the apps haven’t been utilized in a short time . “Project Mainline” for shipping security updates and privacy fixes via Google Play Store was introduced in Android 10 with 13 Mainline modules. Here, Google has mandated 12 additional Mainline modules taking the entire to 25. Google Play System Update (GPSU) is downloaded & installed simultaneously and therefore the phone will resume right after boot after rebooting for the update. Furthermore, apps with storage permission will only have limited access to the shared storage for better data protection.

Other assorted updates

Besides these major updates, there a lot of smaller improvements too.

  • The new 5G detection API recognizes if your device is connected to a 5G network and improves the phone’s performance.
  • Android 11 is also introducing “Wireless debugging” meaning you can run ADB commands on the device from your PC without having to use any wires. But, as one would imagine, both devices should be connected to the same network.
  • There is a subtle transition upgrade to keyboards on how they appear and minimize back – it’s a lot less janky than what we’ve been seeing so far.
  • There are also 117 new emojis including the wildly meme’d stereotypical Italian hand gesture.
  • Excitingly, Android 11 also has native support for variable refresh rates.

Android 11: Easter Egg

Android 11 Easter Egg

As far as I can remember (which is Android 2.3 Gingerbread), Google has sneaked during a certain easter egg in every forthcoming iteration of Android. Android 10 had “Nonogram” which I still haven’t found out completely, to be honest. Now, Android 11 brings a well-known easter egg which is that the “Neko Atsume”-like mini-game we first saw in Android 7 (Nougat).

 

To access this, select the “About Phone” menu under the settings and tap the “Android version” menu repeatedly (I’m assuming 8 times supported past trend). this may take you to the Android 11 dial that you’re gonna need to switch up a few of times to unlock the “11” logo. Then, head on right down to your power menu and from the three-dot cog, select “Add controls” then “See other apps”. this is often where you ought to see the “Cat Controls” option. Kinda elaborate, but I don’t mind.

Android 11: Availability and eligible devices

Google has already started rolling out the Android 11 update for everything of its Pixel phone lineup excluding the first-gen Pixel and Pixel XL from 2016. Similarly, it’s also available (but in Beta stage) to pick OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, and Xiaomi smartphones. These include:

OnePlus

8, 8 Pro

OPPO

Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Ace2, Reno3 4G, Reno3 Pro 4G

Realme

X50 Pro

Xiaomi

Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro

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