It’s Red Velvet Cake day! Oh, we don’t do the dessert name thing anymore so, it’s Android 11 release day!
Google just announced that Android 11 is here in consumer form and ready to rollout to Google Pixel phones starting day, as well as devices from OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi. For the Pixel line, we are talking about the Pixel 2 and higher.
We have covered Android 11 in great detail over the past several months, from developer previews through several beta builds. As a way to celebrate that journey, Google has shared 11 new features you’ll find once your phone has Android 11 on it.
What’s new in Android 11?
- Message app section in notifications: Google tweaked the notifications area some in Android 11, with a new section dedicated to the conversations you are having through messaging apps. You’ll see this section called “Conversations” and it will live at the top of your notifications list.
- Bubbles!: Bubbles were first introduced in Android 10 and are now stable enough to be generally available in Android 11. Bubbles are like Facebook’s old Chat Heads, where your messaging conversations can pop-up on screen in a bubble or circle, giving you quick access to conversations across multiple apps, assuming they support Bubbles.
- Screen recording: Google added native screen recording to Android 11, so you can now record happenings on your device with optionally included sound from your mic, device, or both. Look for the quick settings notification shortcut for it to get started.
- Smart home controls in power menu: One of the best new features is a power menu revamp that will show you quick controls to your smart home gadgets. You can adjust temperature, view cameras, adjust lighting, and more, all from the power menu.
- Media controls move to quick settings area: When you open a media app on Android 11, the notification area won’t show controls for it any longer. Instead, they’ve moved above to the quick settings area, where you’ll also be able to quickly switch to different audio devices.
- Android Auto goes wireless for everyone: If you own a car or unit with Android Auto wireless support, Android 11 brings support for wireless connections to all phones.
- One-time permissions: For privacy reasons, Android 11 lets you grant apps a single use permission to things like microphones, camera, and location. That way, each time they open, they’ll be forced again to ask rather than being able to utilize those permissions going forward.
- Auto-reset permissions: You probably have a bunch of apps that you don’t use often, so Android 11 will now auto-reset the permissions on those apps and ask you to grant them permission again should you open the app down the road.
- More Google Play system updates: Google Play system updates have expanded in Android 11 to help you get even more regular updates without needing a full system update.
- More enterprise tools: For enterprise folks, Android 11 gives IT departments more tools to manage company-owned devices without monitoring any of your personal profile stuff.
- Pixel Launcher improvements: Finally, the Pixel Launcher is getting several new features, like app suggestions in the home screen dock, ways to screenshot and share items from the app switcher, and more.
If those 11 new features weren’t enough, we put together a video of the Android 11 Beta that showcases a bunch of this stuff, plus more. That video is included below.
- UPDATE: The over-the-air-update is already live! Go grab it!
Once the files are live for stable Android 11, we’ll be sure to post them and let you know!