Get to know Android 11 to unlock all the brand new options.
Even although Google launched Android 11 in early September, relying on who makes your cellphone, it could possibly be some time earlier than you may see the replace and enhancements. It’s value nothing a number of the extra thrilling adjustments. Or if you happen to’d moderately not wait on your older cellphone to get the newest taste of Android, Google simply introduced two new telephones — the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5 — and each run Android 11 out of the field. Whether you purchase a brand new Pixel cellphone, or look ahead to Android 11 to achieve your present machine, there’s a lot to get enthusiastic about. You’ll discover refined tweaks all through the brand new working system that make an enormous distinction in how you may use your cellphone every single day. For instance, there is a new Bubbles chat characteristic that makes it straightforward to maintain messaging from any app. My private favourite is the brand new fast controls web page for accessing my sensible house gadgets with a swipe and there is a new screen-recording software for exhibiting off your favourite gameplay, or to assist somebody troubleshoot a difficulty. These are seven of my favourite Android 11 options and methods to use them.
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Android 11’s fast controls are my new favourite controls.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Android 11 Quick Controls are a real spotlight The very first thing you must do after putting in Android 11 is long-press the ability button in your cellphone to convey up the brand new fast controls display. On the Pixel, no less than, this display offers you energy management choices alongside the highest and offers shortcuts to your Google Pay playing cards and boarding passes. Then beneath that you’re going to discover my favourite characteristic of Android 11 — fast controls for sensible house gadgets. My cellphone mechanically picked a couple of gadgets I’ve linked to Google Assistant, just like the Nest thermostat in my workplace and my Nest video doorbell. I may even view a livestream from my doorbell straight on this display with out having to open the Nest app, which is sluggish and a ache to make use of. It’s nice. You can add or take away sensible house gadgets from this grid by tapping the menu button and deciding on add or edit controls. Google Assistant can wait on maintain for you Instead of ready on maintain, listening to the identical boring music on loop, Google is bringing a brand new characteristic to Assistant and it is debuting with the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. Called Hold For Me, Google Assistant’s new trick exhibits a immediate on the display letting you’ll be able to go about doing no matter it’s you wish to do and your cellphone will warn you when somebody lastly solutions. In order for the characteristic to work, it’s essential flip it on by opening the Phone app, tapping on the three-dot menu icon, then faucet Settings. Select Hold for me from the record of choices, then flip it on. Going ahead, when your cellphone detects you have referred to as a customer support quantity and you’ve got vibrate, silent mode or do-not-disturb turned off, the in-call display may have a Hold for me button that you may press while you’re positioned on maintain. Tap Start after which a display will present up reminding you to not hold up. You will not be capable of hearken to music or use your cellphone to play a video whereas on the decision. There can be a textual content transcript that is proven, dwell, just under the decision display to let what’s been mentioned earlier than you come back to the decision, or so that you can monitor whether or not or not it is a recording thanking you for being affected person, or if somebody has really answered the decision. When you are taken off maintain, your cellphone will vibrate and ring, as if you happen to’re getting a name, to let “Someone’s waiting to talk to you” so you’ll be able to then resume the decision. I examined out Hold for Me by calling Comcast and I used to be capable of nearly instantly have the Assistant start listening to the decision for me. The dwell transcription was a pleasant bonus that I wasn’t anticipating to see, however will certainly make it simpler to determine if it’s essential reply the cellphone earlier than Assistant alerts you. Hold for me is a fairly darn cool characteristic.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
New message notifications get the limelight After putting in Android 11, you may discover that alerts from all your messaging apps, like Google Messages, have a devoted “Conversations” part in your notification tray. The change makes it simpler to seek out the alerts you seemingly care about most, however if you happen to obtain a whole lot of messages, even this part can get messy. Instead of letting Google kind your new alerts by itself, long-press the dialog you wish to comply with carefully and choose Priority. Doing it will transfer new messages in that thread to the highest of all your dialog alerts, activate Bubbles (extra on that beneath), and use the contact’s avatar because the alert icon within the notification tray and on the lock display. Being capable of look on the notification tray and see a profile icon, as an alternative of the usual textual content alert that does not provide any actually useful info, is a pleasant contact. Messaging Bubbles on your associates appear like they’re going to be helpful Remember Bubbles? This characteristic was speculated to be a part of Android 10, however Google pulled it on the final minute. It made the minimize for Android 11. Bubbles are just like Facebook Messenger’s “chat heads” characteristic. When activated, a small avatar — or Bubble — exhibits up in your display and is seen it doesn’t matter what app you are utilizing. Tap on the avatar and it’ll open a small window so that you can learn and ship new messages in that thread, with out totally opening the app. You can drag the Bubble round your display, or drag it to the underside of the display to delete it. In order to make use of Bubbles for a dialog, faucet on the small Bubbles icon within the bottom-right nook of the notification. Tapping on it’ll instantly allow Bubbles for that thread. Alternatively, you’ll be able to mark a dialog as a precedence to all the time use Bubbles for that contact. Bubbles are handy, however will take some adjusting to.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
You can then drag the icons on your varied Bubbles chats round in your display, or faucet on the avatar for the particular person you wish to discuss to, and the thread will open up, all with out ever leaving the app you are presently utilizing. I’m glad that is an opt-in characteristic, primarily based on every thread, as an alternative of an all-or-nothing characteristic like Chat Heads, which could be messy and downright overwhelming. To do away with a bubble for a particular dialog, simply drag the icon to the small X that exhibits up on the backside of your display. If you wish to utterly disable Bubbles, disallowing any and all apps from triggering the doubtless annoying characteristic, open the Settings app and seek for Bubbles. There can be a setting to show off Bubbles altogether. App builders might want to replace their app to work with Bubbles, and proper now I can verify that Google’s Messages app works. Facebook Messenger labored all through the Android 11 beta program, however an replace only a few days earlier than Android 11 launched appears to have damaged or disabled the mixing. If you are having bother getting Bubbles to work, I like to recommend reaching out to the developer and seeing in the event that they plan on including help for Bubbles.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Android 11 will get fancier music controlsIn Android 11, there is a new playback management that now not seems as a pending notification. Instead, there is a small field that exhibits up as a part of the fast settings panel. You can skip, return, play-pause and swap the machine the music is enjoying on all from the brand new management field. As quickly as you begin enjoying some music, the brand new media controls can be out there. They’re so a lot better than the previous notification. You can lastly file your display with an official Google software.
A built-in display recorder Screenshots are a fast and straightforward strategy to seize one thing in your display, however there are occasions when a recording is best suited to the duty at hand. For instance, if you wish to showcase your gaming abilities, or spotlight the steps to breed a bug — display recording FTW! You can discover the Screen Record software within the Quick Settings panel after putting in Android 11. If it isn’t seen, faucet on the pencil icon so as to add it to your panel. Tap on the Screen Record icon and choose whether or not you need your microphone to file audio and in order for you your contact interactions to be highlighted within the video. To cease recording, faucet the Screen Record notification. The video can be saved to your digicam roll the place you’ll be able to then edit and share the recording. App solutions on the house display are new.
For Pixel homeowners: App Suggestions exchange your app dock At some level after putting in Android 11, you may see a immediate asking you to allow app solutions on the house display. Essentially, the brand new app solutions will exchange the app dock in your cellphone, leaving it as much as your cellphone to swap apps out and in of the underside row — or dock — in your cellphone, primarily based on which apps you employ at sure instances of the day. The apps have a glowing border round them, letting your cellphone added them, and steadily change while you return to your house display as you employ your cellphone. You can long-press on any of the app icons to pin that suggestion to your house display. You can even block apps from exhibiting up as solutions if you do not need one thing like Gmail exhibiting since you use a distinct e-mail app. To entry App Suggestions and tailor the way it works for you long-press on your house display and choose Home Settings then Suggestions. There you’ll be able to management solutions within the app drawer and on the house display or block apps from exhibiting up on the record. Google additionally made some essential adjustments to how Android handles privateness settings you must know, as nicely. If you are searching for directions to put in Android 11, we have now your again.
Android 11: What’s new within the public beta