Android 11 puts serious (and refined) polish on the platform

Android 11 beta has been out for some time, and it gives quite a lot of new options and enhancements. Jack Wallen gives his take on why this could be the absolute best but for customers.

Image: Jack Wallen

Recently a couple of occasions came about, virtually concurrently, that had me the usage of the beta model of Android 11 as my day-to-day motive force. I made up our minds to sign up for the Android 11 beta program with my earlier telephone, a Google Pixel 3. It was once nonetheless a just right telephone and I’d wish to be trying out a few of the new options for the upcoming platform. The identical day I did that, I used to be coming in from the report retailer with a big package deal between my arm and frame. I grabbed the package deal to put it on my table, when the nook of the paper bag stuck my Google Pixel 4, sending it to the flooring.

As good fortune would have it, the telephone display crash landed on a nook of the wood mat I’ve on at my table. Needless to mention, the show shattered in a bajillion tiny fragments, rendering the telephone almost unusable. 

So, I contacted Google, asked a restore RMA, and shipped the Pixel Four off to get the display changed. 

That left me with my Pixel 3. Instead of doing a manufacturing facility reset, I opted to go away the beta model of Android 11, which might give me quite a few time to enjoy what the subsequent iteration of the platform had to provide.

I’m right here to inform you–I’m inspired.

What Android 11 brings to the desk is a refined evolution of the whole lot that made Android 10 so just right. I’m no longer going to move thru a feature-by-feature checklist of the whole lot new to Android 11. Instead, I need to speak about what makes Android 11 so just right for finish customers and why you’ll be able to need this new liberate once it is to be had.

SEE: IT pro’s guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (TechRepublic obtain)

Android 11: It’s all about the polish

If I’m being utterly truthful, Android 10 has been my absolute favourite liberate of the platform thus far. It does just about the whole lot proper. From battery lifestyles, to ease of navigation, to simplicity of sharing and the whole lot in between.

After the usage of Android 10 for moderately a while, I used to be hard-pressed to consider the rest that can have progressed the enjoy. However, after the usage of Android 11, the Google builders have proven their talents at evolving the platform.

For example, take the notification shade–instead of the notification coloration being one consistent listing of indicators, the whole lot is damaged down into classes (Figure A). There are:

  • Conversations for such things as Facebook Messenger and SMS messages

  • Alerting notifications for apps and occasions

  • Silent notifications for such things as Google News

Figure A


The new Android 11 notification classes.

What’s in reality great about this new categorization machine is that it permits you to transparent a unmarried class, as a substitute of clearing both unmarried notifications or clearing all. So, in the event you get a large number of notifications from apps, however do not need to have to move thru and transparent them for my part, faucet the X related to the Alerting Notifications class. 

Android 11: Screenshots and gear

The builders have stripped out the screenshot device from the energy button menu. No longer are you able to take a screenshot by way of maintaining down the energy button. Instead, you will have to get right of entry to the open app listing by way of swiping up from the house button. Once you expose your open apps, you’ll be able to see the Screenshot button at the backside of the show (Figure B).

Figure B


The new Screenshot characteristic for Android 11 is lovely slick.

The one caveat to the new Screenshot characteristic is that it prevents you from taking screenshots of positive parts (equivalent to the Screenshot characteristic itself or the notification coloration).

Android 11: App ideas 

I’ll preface this by way of announcing I a lot want a blank house display. I’m k with a unmarried row of app launcher folders at the backside of my show, however no longer a lot more. However, if you do not thoughts a couple of extra launchers at the in a position, Android 11 is bringing app ideas to the house display. This characteristic will stay an up to date row of your maximum used apps to be had for fast release. 

This characteristic will also be enabled/disabled by way of long-pressing the house display and tapping Home Settings. In the ensuing window, faucet Suggestions after which faucet the On/Off slider to both permit or disable Suggestions On Home Screen (Figure C).

Figure C


Enable or disable the app ideas characteristic for the house display.

Once you permit the characteristic, it is going to take a little time for the steered apps to turn up, as the AI has to be informed what you utilize the maximum. 

Personally, I disabled the characteristic virtually instantly. Why? The identical app ideas seem at the best of the app drawer, so it sort of feels a little redundant.

Android 11: Bubbles

To any individual that has adopted Android over the years, the Bubbles characteristic, which mimics the Facebook Messenger Chat Heads characteristic, has been teased for a while. It’s right here and it is lovely candy.

Instead of getting each and every conceivable message arrive as a Bubble, Android 11 permits you to no longer handiest permit Bubbles on a per-app foundation. Some of the apps (equivalent to Messages and Gmail) assist you to permit Bubbles on a per-conversation foundation.

For instance, take the default Android SMS consumer. With this app you’ll outline if all verbal exchange, no conversations, or decided on conversations will also be positioned in a Bubble (Figure D).

Figure D


Defining what can Bubble in Android 11.

Of path, this option is not whole but. When you decide to move the decided on conversations path, you don’t seem to be ready to but make a selection which conversations are positioned in a Bubble. I’m guessing this selection will likely be coming quickly. Until then, stay your arms crossed the builders depart this option in.

Android 11’s progressed show

Android 11 has introduced an progressed show for gadgets that give a boost to variable refresh charges. This obviously applies to the Google Pixel 4, however the Pixel Three does not come with a variable refresh price. However, after upgrading to the Android 11 beta, I realized an progressed show on the Pixel 3. In truth, the progressed show on the Pixel Three now opponents that of my Pixel 4. 

I will not in finding any connection with an Android 11 characteristic that has immediately progressed the show for gadgets that don’t give a boost to variable refresh charges, however my eyes don’t lie to me–the show is significantly progressed from Android 10.  

These are just a few of the obtrusive innovations Android 11 has remodeled 10–improvements that may instantly have an effect on customers. Once the ultimate liberate of Android 11 is out (and I’ve my Pixel Four again), I’d consider the subsequent iteration of Google’s cell platform will likely be the absolute best but, by way of an extended (however refined) shot.

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