Android 11: Features, Launch Date and Everything else you need to know

26

Sep 2020

Author by Divyesh Dayani

Android 11: Features, Launch Date and Everything else you need to know

Android 11 is now up to its third and final public beta release, which suggests the next version of the software is the official, public release that finishes up on the phones of the general public. 

Currently, it's only available to download for a number of Pixel phones, but installing it is much simpler than it absolutely was in its dev preview stage. you simply need to go through the process. 

When is Android 11 being released?

Final beta is out now

Public version planned to launch on 8 September

Google has unwittingly revealed that its next major software update for smartphones is coming 8 September, following months of developer and public beta testing. The third and final version of the general public beta was released during the first week of August 2020. 

Which phones will get it? 

Initially, the launch made its way to the following Google Pixel phones: 

Pixel 2 and 2 XL

Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Pixel 4 and 4 XL 

OnePlus and Oppo both unrolled Android 11 beta programs for some of their flagship phones.

For its sister-brand, Realme, the X50 Pro is within the program. Xiaomi, likewise, announced plans to bring it to the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro while Poco has announced it'll come to the F2 Pro. 

New features explored...

Message bubbles and 'priority' conversations

When you receive a message through the regular messages app, you'll have it show up a notification during a floating bubble on the screen similar to how Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads works.

Eventually this may be available to other third party apps, but currently it's just the one. To use it, just long-press a message notification and tap "show in an exceedingly bubble", and now you get your bubbles.

We presume this same method will apply if and when developers for apps like WhatsApp and Telegram implement the capability in their apps. 

In addition to that, when you get a message from a contact who you wish to chat with often, you'll long-press the notification and mark that exact conversation as a priority. That means you will get their notifications even when your phone is on 'Do Not Disturb'. 

Redesigned notifications

What's cool is that Android 11 breaks out and sorts notifications into relevant groups, so conversations - just like the aforementioned SMS messages - appear at the highest in their own easy to read section, making it easier to quickly reply and carry on together with your tasks. Splitting them faraway from the opposite stuff you most likely don't care about the maximum amount .

Then others are split into alerting notifications and silent notifications. The previous is for system notifications where something may be running within the background. The latter is for apps that get lots of alerts that you don't necessarily get to see or hear all the time. So social media and email fit into here nicely. 

As well as that, the actual visual interface of the notifications has been altered and developed throughout the Android 11 preview phase. There's some added transparency and gradients within the most up-to-date update, giving it a touch more finesse.

New Power Menu with smart home controls

With Android 11 the interface that shows up once you long-press the power/sleep button on the side may be a lot more useful. It not only shows you the standard power, restart and emergency contact options, but also easy access to GPay and smart home controls so you'll quickly switch your smart home products on or off, or long press their widgets to adjust them during a more granular fashion. 

New Media playback widget

Any app playing media on your device will create a widget in your quick settings drop-down menu, complete with colour matched background to the album art. We've tested it with Tidal, but it'll work with pretty much any media app. As a little bonus, when you tap the play/pause button, you get a nice ripple animation. 

As well as that, there's a better way to switch media output so you'll switch it to play on the device, in your headphones, cast it to a TV or audio streamer. 

Resizable picture-in-picture window

Whenever you shut a video app like YouTube or Netflix in Android it automatically puts that video during a small floating window on top of everything else, and keeps playing the video. In Android 11's developer preview, Google added the choice to resize that picture-in-picture window. 

Screen recording

One cool new feature which other Android phones already do - just like the OnePlus 8 and 7T series phones - is easy screen recording. drop down the quick setting shade, and also the option is right there. 

Once you tap on the screen recording quick setting tile there is a pop-up window asking you to verify whether you would like to definitely start recording. Before starting you'll select if you wish to record audio through your microphone, or if you would like to record the device's audio directly. 

Once confirmed, it'll record whatever you're doing on your phone before you opt to prevent and save the footage. you'll also cancel the recording any time. 

Smart app suggestions?

When you first find out Android 11 you will get a popup asking if you would like to use Google's auto-generated app dock. this means, instead of you choosing the four or five apps you would like at the rock bottom of every home screen, Google populates that area with what it thinks you would like access to. So far, it hasn't been all that useful, but it'll likely get better with time because the phone learns usage patterns. 

New Recent apps screen 

There's an intriguing change to the recent apps screen in the latest developer preview, which eliminates quick app suggestions, and replaces it with a screenshot/share option. Plus, the cards showing thumbnails of any recent apps are made bigger too. 

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In the fourth developer preview, Google also added a 'Select' button to the bottom row of icons on the recent apps screen to create it more clear that you can - manually select images or text from the app thumbnail card. 

What's more, after you swipe a card away to dismiss it/clear it from memory, there's an undo option that helps you to bring it back again when you've swiped it accidentally. 

Back gesture sensitivity

When you've activated Android's gesture navigation, swiping in from the sting replaces the 'back' button. In Android 11 you'll adjust how sensitive you want this gesture to be, this will be helpful if you're in an app with its own dedicated controls and gestures near the sting of the screen. you'll even individually adjust the setting for every side of the display. 

iPhone-like screenshot visuals

Similar to how other Android manufacturers - and indeed the iPhone - do it, once you take a screenshot, you will see a small thumbnail of that screenshot appear within the bottom corner of the display. it's a small 'x' to dismiss it, also as 'share' and 'edit' options. meaning it no longer takes up a full notification at the top of the screen. 

Dark mode scheduling

Dark Mode first appeared as a system wide setting on Android 10, and with Android 11 you'll schedule and automate it. Set the time you would like it to modify on or off every day manually by setting the time within the settings.

Like such a lot of apps and other Android phones you'll also like better to have it come on at sunset, and cut at sunrise. 

Single time app permissions

Single time permissions is probably one in every of the largest privacy based features. It permits you to tell an app it can only access your location just that one time you're using the app, rather having to decide on between 'all the time', 'only when I'm using it' or 'never'. It gives you a great deal more control.

Voice access - controlling your phone with your voice

One pretty smart accessibility feature is the ability to regulate your phone with your voice using Google's Voice Access. With it activated, you'll do anything just by speaking. So if you would like to launch an app you'll , or even compose a message, send a tweet, view your photos. It assigns numbers to certain control elements within the user interface too. that means, for  instance, if the number '12' is over the 'X' in the corner or the number '1' over the 'delete' button, you'll just say those numbers and it will act on those commands as if you'd pressed them on screen.

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