A brand new Android model is intriguing, thrilling, and — let’s be trustworthy — typically slightly perplexing. Especially these days, it is all too frequent to see a shiny new replace present up in your cellphone, eagerly look to see what contemporary treats are in retailer, after which end up scratching your head as you wrestle to see what’s completely different and the way try to be benefiting from no matter was delivered to your gadget.There’s no denying it: Android’s evolution has grown considerably extra delicate over time. Whereas early Android updates represented huge leaps ahead and near-constant reinventions of the working system, extra fashionable Android rollouts are likely to revolve principally round refinement and small however important touches. It’s a wise shift at this level within the platform’s growth, however it usually makes it powerful to know for those who’re tapping into every little thing Google’s newest software program supplies.And Android 11 is definitely no exception. The newest Android launch is chock-full of necessary additions, however a lot of them are underneath the hood and never instantly apparent. And even those which can be on the floor require a teensy little bit of tweaking to be delivered to their full potential.Whether you simply obtained Android 11 lately or have had it since its formal launch final September, the recommendations on this web page will assist you unlock all the software program’s sensible worth. The magic’s already all there and ready; it is simply as much as you to hunt it out and embrace it.If you are among the many many non-Google-phone homeowners nonetheless ready for the software program to achieve you, grasp onto this information for the long run — and take a look at my separate story on bringing Android-11-like options onto any cellphone in the present day for some intelligent methods to offer your self related components within the meantime.(Note that the options and steps described beneath are all related to Google’s unique Android 11 software program, which is current on Pixel telephones, Android One units, and sure different merchandise. Some Android phone-makers modify the working system and even often omit options for no obvious cause — so for those who’re utilizing a tool that does not stick to Google’s default Android association, among the components talked about right here could also be completely different or in just a few circumstances totally absent in your cellphone.)Privacy protection1. The most consequential addition in Android 11, particularly from a enterprise perspective, is the elevated set of instruments the software program provides you for privateness safety — so do not let that go to waste!The first and most necessary factor you will wish to reap the benefits of is the software program’s extra nuanced controls for digital camera, location, and microphone permissions. As of Android 11, you’ll be able to grant apps entry to these areas on a restricted, single-session foundation — which means the permissions will expire and need to be requested anew as quickly as you exit the app and transfer on to one thing else.But, critically, any apps that have been in your cellphone earlier than the Android 11 improve will have already got everlasting permissions granted — so it is as much as you to return and reassess ’em as wanted.To achieve this, open up the Privacy part of your system settings and faucet “Permission manager.” One by one, look by way of the classes for “Camera,” “Location,” and “Microphone.” If you see any accredited permissions that you just’d quite have dealt with on a case-by-case foundation, faucet the related app’s line after which change its setting to “Ask every time.”JR Raphael/IDG
Android 11’s new short-term permissions can higher defend your knowledge, however it’s usually as much as you to seek out and reap the benefits of them.
With any apps you put in from this level ahead, the immediate to make that call will come up routinely the primary time the app requests one of many related permissions — so it is solely with current apps that you could carry out this one-time evaluation.2. The different Android 11 privateness function that requires your motion is the software program’s potential to routinely revoke delicate permissions from apps that you have not opened or in any other case utilized in a matter of months. Oddly, that functionality is not all the time on by default — so head into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, faucet the road to see all your apps, if wanted, after which faucet the identify of any app the place you need that conduct to happen.Next, you will wish to faucet “Permissions” and search for a line labeled “Remove permissions if app isn’t used.” Activate the toggle subsequent to it, after which relaxation simple realizing that the doorways to your delicate data will routinely shut if the app in query ever will get forgotten.Next-level notifications3. Notifications get a pleasant improve with a brand new devoted “Conversations” part in Android 11, and you may take management of how precisely it really works. Anytime you obtain a message inside an app that helps the function, simply press and maintain the notification to disclose a brand new choice that’ll set it as a precedence dialog — which causes its notification to seem on the high of the “Conversations” part, with the sender’s profile picture as its personal standalone icon in your standing bar space, and optionally even with an expandable bubble you should utilize to maintain the dialog available it doesn’t matter what else you are doing.JR Raphael/IDG
You can pop necessary messages out into expandable bubbles for straightforward ongoing entry, because of Android 11’s new “Conversations” controls.
4. You can really flip any appropriate messaging thread right into a bubble, too, no matter whether or not it is set as a priority-level dialog. Just look within the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings and discover the brand new “Conversations” choice, then faucet the road comparable to the dialog you wish to convey into the bubble interface.That’ll pull up a settings display screen on which you’ll be able to choose to have the dialog all the time seem inside that persistent bubble, no matter its standing.5. That similar conversation-specific settings display screen holds another choice value remembering: the choice to tug a selected messaging thread out of the “Conversations” part altogether in order that it seems as a daily, much less emphasised notification.6. Ever end up wishing you could possibly convey again a notification you inadvertently swiped away? Android 11 has the answer with its new Notification History function. Make certain to allow it by going into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, then tapping “Notifications” adopted by “Notification history.” Flip the toggle on the high of the display screen into the on place, and each time you have got not less than one notification current, you will see a brand new “History” choice that’ll take you to a listing of all dismissed alerts from the previous 24 hours.JR Raphael/IDG
Android 11’s new Notification History part is a handy approach to look again at alerts you’ve got lately dismissed.
Shortcuts and time-savers7. Android 11’s most sensible new function, for those who ask me, is the connected-device command heart it brings into the system energy menu — the display screen that comes up while you press and maintain your cellphone’s bodily energy button. Some device-makers, sadly, determined to tug this function out of the working system earlier than sending it to their prospects (hello, Samsung!), however it’s definitely a shining spotlight of the most recent Android software program.So lengthy as you are utilizing a cellphone the place that component hasn’t been eliminated, press and maintain that newly empowered energy button for a second or so, and you will see your new finest good friend pop proper up in entrance of you — full with controls for any sensible lights, cameras, thermostats, or different such merchandise which can be arrange in your surroundings and related to your Google account.JR Raphael/IDG
The new Android 11 energy menu makes it simple to regulate related units (and extra!) from wherever in your cellphone.
8. You’d by no means comprehend it from trying, however the tiles inside that new energy button menu can do extra than simply act as mere on-off toggles. For any tiles the place further choices can be found, it’s also possible to long-press to tug up superior prospects in a easy overlay display screen.9. As useful as it may be, that connected-device command heart may also get slightly cluttered. If, like me, you discover the on-by-default presence of gigantic photos exhibiting your Google-Pay-connected bank cards in that space to be of little sensible worth, head into the System space of your system settings, faucet “Gestures,” after which faucet “Power menu” adopted by “Cards & passes.” (If your cellphone’s menu construction would not match that, strive looking out your system settings for energy menu to get to a comparable place.)Turn the toggle on the display screen that comes up into the off place, and that Pay-related component of the ability menu will likely be gone for good.10. In addition to eliminating pointless components from Android 11’s energy menu, you’ll be able to add in new connected-device controls and alter the order of the present controls to place your most often accessed gadgets into particularly easy-to-reach locations. Tap the three-dot menu icon throughout the energy menu after which choose both “Add controls” or “Edit controls” to reap the benefits of both risk.11. You do not need to cease with related units, both. With a couple of minutes of superior configuration, you’ll be able to add virtually something into the Android 11 energy menu — an always-accessible shortcut to launch Android’s split-screen perform, a easy on-screen button for capturing a screenshot of any app, or perhaps a one-tap command for composing a selected prewritten “thank you” e-mail or textual content message to comply with a gathering, for just a few attention-grabbing examples.All you want is a robust Android app referred to as Tasker and about 5 minutes of artful configuration to make it occur — and whereas the preliminary setup course of is a teensy bit sophisticated, I’ve obtained an easy-to-follow information that’ll take you thru it step-by-step.12. Another simply missed Android 11 goodie is the software program’s addition — or re-addition, to be extra correct — of the power to pin gadgets to the highest of the system share menu and maintain your mostly used targets on the high.The share menu, in case the identify would not instantly ring a bell, is the factor that comes up while you share one thing from one app to a different — like while you spotlight textual content in an e-mail after which faucet “Share.” Some Android apps now use their very own customized menu for that perform, quite vexingly, however everytime you’re seeing the usual system share menu, you’ll be able to take management of it by urgent and holding any common icon inside its checklist after which deciding on the “Pin” choice that pops up.JR Raphael/IDG
It could not appear like a lot, however that tucked-away “Pin” choice throughout the Android share menu can prevent tons of time.
That’ll trigger the app’s icon to stay in a particular high row inside that menu, above another gadgets.JR Raphael/IDG
Pinned gadgets present up in their very own devoted row on the high of the system share menu, with a pushpin to the left of their title.
You can pin as much as 4 share targets there, and so they’ll all the time seem in that spot in alphabetical order.Advanced audio, video, and visible choices13. While some Android device-makers have added display screen recording techniques into their software program for ages now, Android 11 marks the primary time such a perform has been constructed into the precise core working system. If you are utilizing a cellphone with Google’s model of Android, you’ll be able to reveal the brand new system-level Screen Recorder by swiping down twice from the highest of your display screen to open the Quick Settings panel, then tapping the small pencil icon in its lower-left nook to edit its contents.Scroll down till you see an icon labeled “Screen Record,” seemingly towards the underside of the checklist. Press and maintain it after which drag it up right into a place throughout the panel’s lively space.Back out of that enhancing device and look again at your Quick Settings menu to seek out and use your newly uncovered device.14. You’d most likely by no means consider it, however along with supplying you with a straightforward approach to report demo movies and carry out troubleshooting in your cellphone, Android’s Screen Recorder can allow you to report an ongoing name — whether or not it is a common cellphone name or one revamped a community (with or with out video) through an app. Just activate that very same Screen Record perform when a name is underway, then faucet the “Record audio” line and alter the setting from “Microphone” to “Device audio and microphone.”JR Raphael/IDG
The “Device audio and microphone” setting will trigger the Android 11 Screen Recorder to seize each what you are saying and what the individual on the opposite finish of a name is saying.
Just make certain you are conscious of any legal guidelines surrounding that course of in your space earlier than you start. Some states require just one individual to conform to any recordings being made throughout a name, whereas others require everybody on a name to offer consent. Policies range internationally as effectively.15. One of Android’s finest hidden options is its potential to pop an actively taking part in video or perhaps a Google Maps navigation right into a small floating window while you transfer away from the related app. As of Android 11, that function will get much more helpful with the utterly invisible potential to resize the window of any such picture-in-picture field.Once you have got one in place, simply drag your finger in or out diagonally on any of its corners to make it greater or smaller. Who knew?!16. Speaking of media, Android 11 introduces an clever new consolidated media participant that places controls for any audio or video taking part in out of your cellphone right into a single, streamlined area above your notification panel — as an alternative of getting every app create its personal impartial set of controls that exists as a notification. Sometimes, although, that new participant sticks round effectively previous its welcome, lengthy after you’ve got completed interacting with the content material.Well, take notice: You can press and maintain the participant to discover a tucked-away choice to dismiss it and ship it a-packin’. If you have got a number of gamers going directly, you’ll be able to swipe to the fitting or left on the participant interface to maneuver between ’em after which long-press on the participant whereas any supply is exhibiting to dismiss it.JR Raphael/IDG
You can swipe left or proper to maneuver between a number of audio sources within the Android 11 media participant after which long-press on any supply to dismiss it.
17. If you discover the Android 11 media participant begins sticking round too lengthy as a basic rule, strive looking out your cellphone’s settings for media. Unless your gadget’s producer has eliminated the choice, it’s best to discover a setting referred to as “Media player in Quick Settings” (or one thing alongside these strains). Pull it up and transfer the toggle related to it to the off place. That’ll inform Android that you don’t need it to maintain the participant round “for an extended period” even after you’ve got completed listening.18. Last however not least, for those who often end up watching your cellphone in dim lighting, do your self a favor and reap the benefits of Android 11’s new Dark Theme scheduling functionality. Look within the Display part of your system settings to seek out the “Dark Theme” choice, then faucet its line — the precise textual content, not the toggle subsequent to it — and you will see the newly added “Schedule” function. You can set the Dark Theme to return on and off routinely at sundown and dawn, respectively, or you’ll be able to create your individual schedule for those who’d quite preserve a unique set of nighttime hours.The different choice, after all, is to show your flippin’ cellphone off and go to mattress already — however that, as everyone knows, is usually simpler mentioned than carried out.
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