5 best new features in Android 11 and how you’ll use them

Android 11 has a bunch of goodies. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google launched the first public beta of Android 11 this week. There are loads of under-the-hood options for builders to reap the benefits of, however common customers aren’t unnoticed both. You can install the first beta right now so long as you’ve gotten a Pixel 2 or newer. I signed as much as take part within the beta program on a Pixel 4 XL ($800 at Amazon) and have been digging by means of the replace. 

We’re huge followers of the brand new fast controls web page that is straightforward to entry and extremely useful, together with the revamped media controls, whereas app strategies and Bubbles will take some getting used to. 

While we’re positive Google has extra Android 11 surprises in retailer for us, listed here are 5 options we’ve got tried and know you may love when it is launched later this 12 months. 

Android 11’s fast controls are my new favourite controls. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 11 Quick Controls are a real spotlight

The very first thing you must do after putting in Android 11, whether or not it is the beta or when it is formally launched, is long-press the ability button in your phone to deliver up the brand new fast controls display screen. On the Pixel, not less than, this display screen provides you energy management choices alongside the highest, gives shortcuts to your Google Pay cards and boarding passes, after which under that you’re going to discover my favourite function of Android 11 — fast controls for smart home units. 

My phone routinely picked a couple of units I’ve linked to Google Assistant, just like the Nest thermostat in my workplace and my Nest video doorbell. I may even view a livestream from my doorbell immediately on this display screen, with out having to open the Nest app (which is gradual and a ache to make use of). It’s nice. 

You can add or take away good residence units from this grid by tapping on the menu button and deciding on add or edit controls. 

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Bubbles look all types of helpful. 


Messaging Bubbles to your pals appear like they will be helpful 

Remember Bubbles? This function was imagined to be a part of Android 10, however Google pulled it on the final minute. Well, they’re again. 

Bubbles are much like Facebook Messengers “chat heads” function. When activated, a small avatar — or Bubble — in your display screen that’s seen it doesn’t matter what app you are utilizing. Tap on the avatar and it’ll open a small window so that you can learn and ship new messages in that thread, with out absolutely opening the app. You can drag the Bubble round your display screen, or drag it to the underside of the display screen to delete it. 

In the primary public beta, the one app that appears to work with Bubbles proper now’s Facebook Messenger. Even then, it does not absolutely work. We anticipate Google will work out the kinks earlier than the total Android 11 launch.

In order to make use of Bubbles for a dialog, there might be a small Bubbles icon within the bottom-right nook of the notification. Tapping on it can instantly allow Bubbles for that thread.

Another solution to activate Bubbles for particular conversations is to long-press on its notification and mark it as a precedence. Doing so is not going to solely activate Bubbles for that thread, however it can additionally permit that dialog to interrupt by means of Do Not Disturb guaranteeing you do not miss any messages. 

App strategies on the house display screen are new. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

App Suggestions change your app dock

Immediately after putting in the general public beta and unlocking my Pixel four XL, I used to be greeted with an choice to allow app strategies on the house display screen. Unsure of what precisely that was, I reluctantly agreed. Turns out, it is fairly darn cool. 

Previously, Android made strategies within the app drawer of apps it thought you’d need to use, relying on the time of day and different mysterious components. In Android 11, there’s now a row of app strategies on the underside of your property display screen the place your foremost app dock would usually present up. 

The apps have a glowing border round them, and steadily change once you return to your property display screen as you employ your phone. You can long-press on any of the app icons to pin that suggestion to your property display screen. 

You may block apps from exhibiting up as strategies if you do not need one thing like Gmail exhibiting up regardless that you employ a distinct electronic mail app. 

To entry App Suggestions and tailor the way it works for you long-press on your property display screen and choose Home Settings then Suggestions. There you possibly can management strategies within the app drawer and on the house display screen or block apps from exhibiting up on the listing. 

The new media controls positive look good. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 11 will get fancier music controls

In the blog post announcement for the Android 11 public beta, Google confirmed off a brand new music management interface that seemed wonderful. Instead of playback controls wanting extra like a pending notification, they’re positioned within the Quick Settings panel on the prime of your display screen. And once you work together with them, there is a new possibility to regulate the place the music is taking part in. 

For instance, in case you have Google’s new Pixel Buds 2 and a Nest Hub ($90 at Best Buy), you possibly can rapidly swap between the 2 units with a few faucets. 

If you put in the Android 11 beta, the function is nowhere to be discovered once you start taking part in music. Don’t get discouraged — it is there, nevertheless it’s hidden. 

You’ll must allow Developer Options in your phone by opening the Settings app and going to About phone. Scroll to the underside of the display screen the place you may discover Build Number. Tap on it till you see a small notification present up saying one thing like “Congrats! You’re now a developer.” 

Next, we’ll want to enter Developer Options in Settings > System. Once there, discover Media resumption, flip it on, after which reboot your phone. 

The subsequent time you begin taking part in some music, the brand new media controls might be obtainable. 

You can lastly document your display screen with an official Google instrument. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

A built-in display screen recorder

Screenshots are a fast and simple solution to seize one thing in your display screen, however there are occasions when a recording is best suited to the duty at hand. For instance, if you wish to exhibit your gaming abilities, or spotlight the steps to breed a bug — display screen recording FTW! 

You can discover the Screen Record instrument within the Quick Settings panel after putting in Android 11. If it is not seen, faucet on the pencil icon so as to add it to your panel. 

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Tap on the Screen Record icon and choose whether or not you need your microphone to document audio and in order for you your contact interactions to be highlighted within the video. To cease recording, faucet the Screen Record notification. The video might be saved to your digicam roll the place you possibly can then edit and share the recording. 

We’re going to maintain digging into Android 11 and see what different goodies are hidden or added all through the remainder of the beta course of. In the meantime, in the event you simply cannot await Android 11 to launch later this 12 months, you can install it right now.

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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