Android 11 adds new conversation features, privacy controls, quick smart device controls, and a lot more.

Google has released its latest big update called Android 11 “R”, which is rolling out now to the Pixel devices, and to smartphones from select third-party manufacturers. Android 11 doesn’t bring any dramatic changes, but we can notice a few interface tweaks and a handful of new features as we update.

Announced at the end of February, Android 11 brings with it enhanced privacy, new chat-related features, and smarter media and device controls, as well as some Pixel-exclusive additions. Let’s have quick look at what’s new

1.Redesigned Power Menu

Redesigned Power Menu

When you long-press the power button, The power menu appears with options to restart the phone, lock it, or turn it off. But now you get quick access to your default Google Pay credit /debit card or your other payment methods like Samsung pay.

Below the cards, we will be able to find shortcuts to any smart home controls through the Google Home app. These quick access tiles let you toggle the power switch on lights, TVs, vacuums, or any other smart home device with just a tap. This saves you the step of using your voice or opening up the Google Home app. You can also customize these controls from the power menu itself.

2. Better Privacy, More Restrictive Permissions

Better Privacy, More Restrictive Permissions

Certain apps invade your privacy by abusing the permissions to collect more data about you. In Android 11, you can opt for an app to ask for permission every single time it wants to use a component on your phone. The provided permissions are also automatically reset if you haven’t used the application in a long time

3.New Media Player UI +  Media Controls

New Media Player UI +  Media Controls

When we play music, we usually see a notification with music controls. But, In Android 11 these controls are now integrated into the quick settings menu itself.

We can also choose what device is playing the music, which is handy if you have Bluetooth speakers or earbuds you’ve connected. It also works with video streaming or any other media you’ve cast to other screens/devices.

4.Better Screenshots and Text Selection

You can now swipe up and hold to access the app card view, from which you can opt to take a screenshot and edit an image or select any text on the screen.

5.Built-in Screen Recording

Android 11 now lets you record the screen natively without requiring a third-party application. Just swipe down the notification shade and find the Screen Record. Then you can begin recording by tapping the Screen Record button on your phone anytime.

6.Bubbles..!Bubbles…!Bubbles…!

Google is finally rolling out its official implementation of conversation “bubbles”. Drawing inspiration from Facebook Messenger, Android 11 now has chat heads that float everywhere, as a way to quickly access DM conversations.

Honorable Mentions :

  • New Emojis
    • There are 117 new emoji! That includes 55 new skin tones and lots of refreshed designs
  • AI-based Updates
    • Smart Replies built into the Pixel’s keyboard, App recommendations on your home screen based on your usage habits.
  • Live View with Location Sharing
    • This Feature offers you a turn-by-turn direction to reach your friend or family member who shared their location with you. This uses the phone’s camera to give you an AR experience

In a nutshell, Android 11 doesn’t seem like a huge leap. Android 11 is just a subtle upgrade that will fix little annoyances and that’s OK. Too much change to an OS is bad because people are used to it and expect it to look and function in certain ways.