Android 11 puts some serious (and subtle) polish on the platform

    Android 11 beta has been out for some time and it affords numerous new options and enhancements. Jack Wallen affords up his tackle why this could be the perfect but for customers.

    Image: Jack Wallen
    Recently a pair of occasions occurred, virtually concurrently, that had me utilizing the beta model of Android 11 as my day by day driver. I made a decision to affix the Android 11 beta program with my earlier telephone, a Google Pixel 3. It was nonetheless a superb telephone and I’d have to be testing a number of the new options for the upcoming platform. The identical day I did that, I used to be coming in from the file retailer with a big bundle between my arm and physique. I grabbed the bundle to position it on my desk, when the nook of the paper bag caught my Google Pixel 4, sending it to the ground.As luck would have it, the telephone display screen crash landed on a nook of the picket mat I’ve on at my desk. Needless to say, the show shattered in a bajillion tiny fragments, rendering the telephone virtually unusable. So, I contacted Google, requested a restore RMA, and shipped the Pixel 4 off to get the display screen changed. That left me with my Pixel 3. Instead of doing a manufacturing unit reset, I opted to go away the beta model of Android 11, which might give me loads of time to expertise what the subsequent iteration of the platform needed to provide.

    I’m right here to inform you–I’m impressed.What Android 11 brings to the desk is a refined evolution of every little thing that made Android 10 so good. I’m not going to undergo a feature-by-feature itemizing of every little thing new to Android 11. Instead, I need to speak about what makes Android 11 so good for finish customers and why you will need this new launch as quickly because it’s obtainable.

    SEE: IT professional’s information to the evolution and influence of 5G expertise (TechRepublic obtain)It’s all concerning the polishIf I’m being utterly trustworthy, Android 10 has been my absolute favourite launch of the platform thus far. It does practically every little thing proper. From battery life, to ease of navigation, to simplicity of sharing and every little thing in between.After utilizing Android 10 for fairly a while, I used to be hard-pressed to consider something that would have improved the expertise. However, after utilizing Android 11, the Google builders have proven their expertise at evolving the platform.For occasion, take the notification shade–instead of the notification shade being one fixed listing of alerts, every little thing is damaged down into classes (Figure A). There’s:Conversations for issues like Facebook Messenger and SMS messagesAlerting notifications for apps and eventsSilent notifications for issues like Google InformationFigure AThe new Android 11 notification classes.What’s very nice about this new categorization system is that it means that you can clear a single class, as an alternative of clearing both single notifications or clearing all. So, if you happen to get quite a lot of notifications from apps, however do not need to need to undergo and clear them individually, faucet the X related to the Alerting Notifications class. Screenshots and energyThe builders have stripped out the screenshot software from the ability button menu. No longer can you’re taking a screenshot by holding down the ability button. Instead, you have to entry the open app listing by swiping up from the house button. Once you reveal your open apps, you will see the Screenshot button on the backside of the show (Figure B).Figure BThe new Screenshot characteristic for Android 11 is fairly slick.The one caveat to the brand new Screenshot characteristic is that it prevents you from taking screenshots of sure parts (such because the Screenshot characteristic itself or the notification shade).App options I’ll preface this by saying I a lot favor a clear house display screen. I’m okay with a single row of app launcher folders on the backside of my show, however not far more. However, if you happen to do not thoughts a couple of extra launchers on the prepared, Android 11 is bringing app options to the house display screen. This characteristic will hold an up to date row of your most used apps obtainable for fast launch. This characteristic may be enabled/disabled by long-pressing the house display screen and tapping Home Settings. In the ensuing window, faucet Suggestions after which faucet the On/Off slider to both allow or disable Suggestions On Home Screen (Figure C).Figure CEnable or disable the app options characteristic for the house display screen.Once you allow the characteristic, it’s going to take a while for the instructed apps to point out up, because the AI has to be taught what you utilize probably the most. Personally, I disabled the characteristic virtually instantly. Why? The identical app options seem on the prime of the app drawer, so it appears a bit redundant.BubblesTo anybody that has adopted Android over time, the Bubbles characteristic, which mimics the Facebook Messenger Chat Heads characteristic, has been teased for a while. It’s right here and it is fairly candy.Instead of getting each attainable message arrive as a Bubble, Android 11 means that you can not solely allow Bubbles on a per-app foundation. Some of the apps (reminiscent of Messages and Gmail) let you allow Bubbles on a per-conversation foundation.For instance, take the default Android SMS shopper. With this app you’ll be able to outline if all dialog, no conversations, or chosen conversations may be positioned in a Bubble (Figure D).Figure DDefining what can Bubble in Android 11.Of course, this characteristic is not full but. When you decide to go the chosen conversations route, you are not in a position to but choose which conversations are positioned in a Bubble. I’m guessing this feature will probably be coming quickly. Until then, hold your fingers crossed the builders go away this characteristic in.Improved showAndroid 11 has introduced an improved show for units that assist variable refresh charges. This clearly applies to the Google Pixel 4, however the Pixel 3 does not embrace a variable refresh price. However, after upgrading to the Android 11 beta, I seen an improved show on the Pixel 3. In reality, the improved show on the Pixel 3 now rivals that of my Pixel 4. I can not discover any reference to an Android 11 characteristic that has straight improved the show for units that don’t assist variable refresh charges, however my eyes don’t deceive me–the show is significantly improved from Android 10.  These are simply a number of the apparent enhancements Android 11 has remodeled 10–improvements that may instantly influence customers. Once the ultimate launch of Android 11 is out (and I’ve my Pixel 4 again), I’d think about the subsequent iteration of Google’s cell platform would be the greatest but, by an extended (however refined) shot.

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