Android 11 is finally here. Google has released the stable build of Android 11 for all compatible Pixel smartphones. Android 11 brings a host of changes to boost privacy, makes it more convenient to manage notifications, introduces a built-in screen recording tool and adds wireless Android Auto to name a few. Additionally, Android 11 also introduces a few Pixel-first features as well, such as the ability to use Live View with Location Sharing in Google Maps to locate friends, Smart Reply and app suggestions among others.
Most of these features have already been present in the developer and public betas, so if you’ve been running these builds on your Pixel smartphone, you won’t find too many differences following the update. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features arriving with Android 11:
- All conversations from messaging apps have been moved to a dedicated space in the notifications shade, making it easier to access them. Users can also prioritize certain chats that can break through the do not disturb mode as well.
- Bubble notifications are here. They allow users to quickly reply to incoming messages from an app without having to switch between apps.
- Now, this is one of the most heavily requested features. Android 11 finally adds an in-built screen recording tool that can use the onboard mic or a connected device to record audio.
- Long pressing the power button now gives users access to all the smart devices in their home, saving them the hassle of opening a dedicated smart home app.
- Media controls have also been revamped, making it easier to seamlessly switch music playback between devices and from different apps as well.
- Android 11 also introduces wireless Android Auto support for vehicles that are compatible with the platform.
- One-time permissions are here. Users can now grant an app temporary permission to access their phone’s mic, camera, or location without having to worry about disabling app permissions later.
- Android 11 will automatically reset device permissions for apps that haven’t been used for a while.
- Google Play updates with privacy and security fixes will now be seeded directly, which means users will no longer have to wait for an OS update.
- Android 11 also brings better separation between work and personal profiles on enterprise devices and boosts the security as well.
Pixel-first features in Android 11
- Talking about Pixel-first features, Pixel smartphone users will now be able to use Live View with Location Sharing in Google Maps to find their friends if they have agreed to share their location.
- Another very useful feature is Smart Reply within Gboard, which offers quick suggestions for replying to a message. This will come in handy when you don’t have time or bandwidth to type a message and just to want to reply with a quick tap.
- Android 11 also brings smart app suggestions. As the name makes it abundantly clever, it will automatically suggest apps based on usage habits and time of the day.
- The task switcher now has a screenshot button that makes it easy to capture, edit and share screenshots.