Google has so far rolled out three Android 11 public beta versions for compatible smartphones. Each Android 11 beta update brings improvements and some new features as well. Google has also previewed some of the major features coming to Android 11 this year.
The latest iteration of Google’s Android OS will launch later this year but a small leak suggests it will take place on September 8. This is also the time Google usually launches its latest Android version. The rollout will start gradually after that. Android 11 beta users have already experienced some new features but for those who are waiting for the stable version, here’s what you should look forward to.
Similar to Facebook Messenger’s chat bubbles, Android 11 will also offer chat bubbles for different apps. As the name suggests, this feature turns text messages from apps like WhatsApp to chat bubbles. These chat bubbles can be moved around the phone and you can go about doing other things while replying to messages at the same time. Chat bubbles can be activated by tapping on the circle icon that appears in the notification panel of that particular message.
Device, media controls
Google is offering better and more controls over Bluetooth devices and media players. Device controls can be accessed by holding down the power button. Here, different actions to control smart home devices can be accessed. Android 11 will also let users change the Bluetooth device used for playing music from the media card itself. For example, you can switch between your wireless earbuds to a Google Home straight from the media card. Another update in Android 11 is that the Now Playing card has been added to the Quick Settings menu.
Google is finally rolling out a native screen recorder on Android 11, a feature iPhone users have enjoyed for a long time. The screen recorder can be accessed from the Quick Settings menu. Another major upgrade coming with screen recording is the ability to record audio as well. Android 11 users will be able to record audio from the microphone, internal device audio, and both of these as well.
Google wants users to prioritise “conversations” on Android 11. What this means is that users will have options to mark chats as important, set reminders and add them to the home screen. And all of these can be done from the notification panel itself. There’s a settings option too which expands to more actions users can take for that particular chat.
Google added important privacy features last year on Android 10 to do with apps collecting background data and location data. On Android 11, Google is improving this by introducing one-time permissions for apps to access the device microphone, camera and location. App permissions will also auto-reset if the app hasn’t been used for a long time.