Android 11: Top features you should try out

September 13, 2020

The update is rolling out to Pixel and several non-Pixel devices.

Just last week, Google has officially rolled out Android 11 to supported devices. The new operating system is compatible with Pixel 2 devices or later, along with select devices from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme.

Android 11 comes with a plethora of enhancements designed for privacy and security – all aimed at keeping your data safe. This should be something that every device should offer, considering that it is getting easier for criminals to get hold of personal data especially on devices like smartphones. That being said, Android 11 doesn’t offer any major design changes when compared to Android 10 so don’t expect anything user-facing differences. 

We’ve been playing around with some of Android 11’s new features and here are some of our favorites:

Chat bubbles

This new bubble-type conversation is now front-and-center on any Android 11 device. Similar to Facebook Messenger’s floating chat heads, all of your chats are one placed on one location where you can immediately resume a conversation without launching the app.

Record your screen

Yes, other Android smartphones already have their own screen recorder app as part of its customized interface, but it was never supported natively on Android devices until now. You can access the screen recorder on the Quick Settings tiles.

Improved Media Controls

Since the new char bubbles now occupy the top of the notifications drawer, the media controls are now placed at the bottom. It is actually more accessible, with an easier way to control playback without having to open your media player.

Smart home controls

Pressing the side button no just brings up the power menu. Instead, you’re presented with a tiled interface with access to your smart home devices and even a shortcut to your card on Google Pay for contactless transactions.

One-time permissions

Android 11 simplifies permissions on every app but letting you choose from three basic choices (Only this time, While using the app, Deny) on how it accesses your data. What’s more, these choices won’t be permanent since Android 11 will reset the permissions if the apps haven’t been used in a while.

Schedule dark mode

The ability to schedule dark mode was an odd omission on Android 10, but thankfully on Android 11, you can now schedule dark mode to be turned on based on time or even sunrise/sunset.

Android Auto

This may be a helpful feature especially for drivers but the only caveat is that Android Auto requires your device to be plugged in via a USB cable. Android 11 now supports a wireless connection through your car’s head unit that should also support wireless connections for it to work.

Have you played around with Android 11 on your device? What other features have you tried out? Let us know in the comments!

by Victor
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff.