The long-awaited 2020 Android operating system has finally officially launched. Android 11 is now available already for anyone with a Google Pixel device. The version should also be available to other devices from companies like Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc soon. The new update optimizes control and provides easier ways to manage conversations and privacy. It has a long list of features which we will cover below. Some have been highly demanded for years like the screen record function. The list won’t go over every little detail, since some we do not even know and will only find out as it releases across more platforms. Everything listed here is the main feature that everyone should know and be excited about.

Changes to the Notification Drawer

Changes have finally been made to the notification drawer. It is no longer stored in a haphazard manner. Before there was no actual method for the priority of these notifications. But the new Android 11 changes that. It segregates everything into 3 sections: Conversations, Alerting, and Silent.

android 11 notification

The conversation section would hold all the texts and messages. The other two sections are the same as they were in Android 10. You can also easily prioritize certain apps to have their notification on top.

Another new feature added for the notifications is the ability to check notification history. Sometimes, we swipe away a message or alert accidentally. Now there is a way to review them again. The feature lets you review every notification in the past 24 hours. This makes sure you don’t accidentally miss anything.

android 11 notification history

You can toggle this feature in your settings. It is not ON by default and you will have to do it yourself. This section even shows you all the silent notifications which never made it to the notification drawer.

Android 11 comes with Chat Bubbles

The new operating system is all based around optimization and communication. It was made with the intent to make your user experience efficient and easy. One of the biggest features that were added to the new Android 11 is Chat Bubbles. The system-wide bubble feature will you the option to have a floating icon which you can tap to overlay a part of your screen with the text box. This makes texting your friends or having priority chat messages open much easier. Additionally, you can do this the notification dock itself. One of the most awaited features of the new system update. Even I’m excited for this one.

android 11 chat bubbles

Screen Recorder and Media Playback

Apple’s iOS has long since offered this feature but Android users were forced to use third-party apps to do the same. Even though Android took its own sweet time to release the feature to record your screen, we welcome it anyway. It is very simple to use as well and you can find this option in the quick settings, above the notification drawer.

android 11 screen record

Another feature that has been moved to quick settings is the Media playback control. Before you used to find it in the notification drawer, but now that space is being used up by the segregated notifications. So they decided to move the control console to the quick settings menu.

android 11 media control

Dark theme and Smart Device Controls

While Android 10 already introduced a dark theme feature for phones, it was pretty simple and did not have many options. The new Android 11 gives you the option to schedule as well as control fully when it activates and deactivates.

android 11 dark mode

Another major change was the new section Google added to the phone. In the new Android 11, if you hold down the power button it pulls a completely new section. While the buttons for turn off, restart, and emergency is still retained, there are a lot more options.

new sections

The new tool has multiple options like Google Pay or adding a payment method to make fast transactions on the go. It has other options to control wireless devices in your home. This will become a major part of our daily usage, especially for those of us who have a tech smart home.

Other important features in Android 11

Other features Google added were buffs to privacy and security. They added more options for the One-Time permissions. Hence, now when you install an app, you have more control over when you give those app-specific permissions. You can give permission for only a single session or only when you use the app. This gives more flexibility to the user.

one time permission

Additionally, the phone will ‘auto-reset’ apps you haven’t used in a while. Android will revoke all permissions so as to ensure no data is taken when you aren’t using an app over long periods of time. When you open it again it will ask you for the permissions again.

Another important change is that all the new big updates of Android 11 can be done through the Play Store directly. This is to ensure devices still get the updates on time, even if their manufacturers abandoned the phone. Also to ensure that everyone gets it at the same time. Rather than having different companies launch the updates at different times, there is a centralized place where everyone can update their phone.

share sheet

Optimizations have even been made to the sharing system. Instead of a random number of apps showing, you can customize the share sheet and pin the apps you want to frequently use to share things. This change allows so much more flexibility for the user.

So far we have listed the most important additions and changes to the new Android OS. What do you think about these new features? Do you think this is a step in the right direction for Android?

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