Android 11: Its amazing features you have to know!!!

Google launched the third beta of Android 11 on August 2020. With that release done, we now fully expect the next launch to be the stable one in September.  Here are all the changes and new features we’ve found so far.

New Android 11 features

  • Native screen recording: Google has been toying around with adding a built-in screen recorder to Android. And Android 11 pretty much confirms the feature will launch this year. You could use the screen recorder in the first Android 11 preview but it is much more refined in DP2. In the second beta, capturing device audio is now supported, all but assuring us that the stable release will include this long-awaited feature.
  • Muting notifications during video: Android 11 will let you mute notifications while you’re recording video.
  • Increase touch sensitivity: Google added an “increase touch sensitivity” option to the settings menu that lets you, well, increase the sensitivity of your touchscreen. If you use a screen protector, this should result in fewer missed taps and scrolls.
  • Notification History: Android doesn’t make it easy for you to see previously dismissed notifications, with Android 10’s Notification Log basically hidden for users. Android 11 DP1 hinted at a Notification History option and DP2 basically confirmed it. The new feature looks like it will be pretty useful.
  • Easter egg: What would a new version of Android be without the traditional Easter egg? The third beta finally brought us the latest secret addition to the operating system.
  • Exposure Notification API: Google and Apple worked together in a rare form of solidarity to create the Exposure Notification API. This system allows official health organizations to make contact tracing applications to help stem the spread of COVID-19. In Android 11, the Exposure Notification API is incorporated and turned on automatically.

Updated or revamped features

Android 11 logo stock photo on smartphone 7
Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Revamped power menu: Android 11 will have a wildly revamped power menu that gives you quick access to smart home controls, your Google Wallet cards, and (obviously) power options.

Update: This new feature was slightly refined in the latest Android 11 beta 2.

Screenshot markup interface tweaks: If you take a screenshot on your Android phone, there’s a native way for you to mark it up with notes or scribbles. However, there’s no way to delete the screenshot from that interface.

Revamped overview menu, screenshot shortcuts: 

In Android 11 Developer Preview 3, Google revamped the overview menu (recent apps screen) to show larger cards as well as two new screenshot shortcuts. However, it also removed the ability to access the app drawer from the overview menu.

New text selection mode in overview menu: In the fourth Android 11 Developer Preview, Google added a “Select” button to the overview menu. Tapping it allows you to quickly select text inside an app and paste it into another app.

Undoing recently cleared apps: Speaking of the revamped overview menu, you can now also undo an accidentally cleared app by quickly swiping down on the screen.

Media players now head to quick settings:

 If you’re listening to music on your phone, you’re used to finding a media player in your notification shade. In Android 11, the player will move to the quick settings area and get a few more tools. It includes the ability to easily pick an output device. If you are playing two forms of media at once (music and a podcast, for example), you’ll be able to swipe the notification to swap between the different players.

More granular back gesture tweaking: The back gesture can be a little frustrating at times. As you perform a similar gesture to activate hamburger menus. Fortunately, Android 11 has two sliders to let you control the sensitivity of the back gesture: one for the left side of the screen and one for the right.

Airplane mode doesn’t kill Bluetooth: Previously, turning on airplane mode would also kill Bluetooth on your phone, which doesn’t make much sense. People who use airplane mode might have Bluetooth headphones connected, resulting in having to turn on Bluetooth again. In Android 11, Bluetooth stays on when airplane mode is activated.

New Motion Sense option for Pixel 4: We’ve been complaining for a few months that Google seems to be neglecting Motion Sense on the Pixel 4. In Android 11, the company is adding a new way to control your phone without touching it. In Android 11, you can tap the air above the phone to pause your music.

Pixel 4 Face Unlock will require you to open your eyes: 

Speaking of the Pixel 4, it looks like Android 11 will offer users the ability to require their eyes be open for Face Unlock to work. This might make unlocks less efficient, but it will certainly make your phone more secure.

App pinning in the share menu: Android used to let you pin your most frequently used apps to the share sheet. But that option was removed in Android 10. Now it’s back and there will even be a little pin icon next to the apps you’ve pinned so you know what’s up.

Enhanced notification shade conversations: 

When you get a text, you can see the most recent message in your notification shade under a new Conversations tab. Not only will you be able to see more of the thread. But you’ll also have richer ways to compose messages, including a way to send picture messages right from the notification. Notifications will also look a lot more organized thanks to a revamp of how they look.

Upgraded Voice Access capabilities: 

Previously, Android’s Voice Access labeled all the actions on the screen with a number. It allows you to call out the number to perform said action. Now, Android 11 can read what’s on your screen and let you say the action instead, being a rather cool accessibility upgrade.

Android 11 release date

Google released Android 11 on September 8, 2020. We were expecting this date thanks to leaks from the company. But Google itself didn’t build up much fanfare for the new operating system.

Manufacturers with custom forks of Android will now need to build their own versions of Android 11. Then rolling them out to their smartphones could be quick, for newer flagships. But if you’ve got an older or mid-range handset you might be waiting a while.

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