Amid the coronavirus pandemic and other whirlwind of events, Google launched the eighteenth edition of its popular OS, named 'Android11' for smartphones, smartwatches and other such devices on September 8th, 2020.
This continues with the overhaul of the material design that came with Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat. This is the newest Android operating system that boasts maximum processing power with minimal battery usage, like previous iterations of the OS. Since alphabetical release names based on desserts were discontinued as of Android 10, the new version of Android OS was immediately labelled as "Android 11".
Google Pixel device owners were the first to lay hands on this latest android version. The new version also appeared soon on other manufacturers' smartphones, including OnePlus, Xiaomi, Realme and more. As such, when you first boot it up, you may not make many distinctions. To find out the new features of the latest android version and why it is the best version yet, read on.
Here are the 11 features you need to know about Android 11:
1.Voice Access: You can now dictate your phone to share a status for you on Facebook! How amazing is that!
Yes, within Android, users now have a nifty function called 'Voice Access'. You can simply tell your Android phone what to do using the power of the Google Assistant by turning this on. This is great for users with mobility impairments.
2. Notifications: There are now three notification categories in Android 11: Conversations, Alerting, and Silent. The Conversations section has all notifications from different conversations. Within this segment, you can also prioritize conversations and applications. This will encourage you to give messages from your immediate family, a higher priority than, for instance, messages from your distant relatives. The whole idea is to ensure that updates linked to your essential everyday experiences are never missed. In Android 10, the Alerting and Silent sections work as they did before. Users have more power over alerts now with Android 11 than you ever had before as they can easily silence warnings from some applications, which will force all future warnings to the Silent area.
3.In-built Screen Recorder: This feature blows the water out of proportions. For many years, Android users have been complaining about the lack of in-built screen recorder like iOS, thus resorting to various 3rd party apps, which in themselves were shoddy in nature. For the parent companies of these crafty software could use the data recorded into breaching the users’ privacy. By introducing the screen recording option tucked in the notification bar, consumers can record their phone screens without any woe of their personal details being stolen. Smartphones like OnePlus and Redmi already had screen recording from previous generation, but now all brands can include natively into the devices.
4.Notification History: Most of us, if not all of us have cleared a certain notification and then instantly regretted it. But it was too late by then! With Android 11,users get access to a new feature which saves their notifications for twenty four hours. However, this is not a default feature. Users have to enable it from their Settings> Apps & Notifications> Notifications> Notifications History. Until then, unfortunately no notification history gets stored.
5.Live Captions: You can say that the days of downloading subtitles for movies and TV shows are numbered. This phenomenal feature introduced by Google is a testament to the advancement of Machine Learning and A.I. Once enabled, you can watch any video with the captions appearing beneath the video. And the best part is, it works offline too. As of now, it only works for English language videos, but works are going on behind the curtains to include the popular dialects around the globe.
6.Chat Bubbles: Similar to Facebook Messenger, users get the feature of chat bubbles for every chat app. Like Messenger, chat heads appear on the screen and a single tap on that launches the chat over any other app. Users can minimize the chat to an icon as well. The icon can also be removed from the screen when the chat is over. This feature was introduced in Android 10 but did not make it to the stable version.
7.The revamped Power Menu: For the tech savvy population who have smart LED bulbs to smart speakers which play music when asked by a simple “ Hey Google, play …”, Android 11 has included a Smart Home option in the power menu. When it is held for a couple of seconds, with the usual option of Shut Down, Restart and Silent, the visual interface also includes the smart home control options. Google has also included a GPay option in this revamped menu, for quick payments.
8.The Media Playback Widget: Like a chameleon changes its colour to blend with the background, the refurbished widget also changes its colour to match with the colour of the album art. This might not be appreciated by all users, but this little tweak will be favoured by the music aficionados. Also there’s an easier way, included into this widget, to switch between the output (phone speaker. Bluetooth headphones, loudspeaker) of the media playback.
9. Resizable PiP Window: Did you know that when the Picture-in-Picture mode is enabled, you can watch your favourite show on Netflix, YouTube on a small window while you write up the monthly shopping list? Yes, when you close the app altogether by going to the home, a small window appears near the bottom of the screen with the show playing. This feature was introduced in Android 10. But in the newer Android 11, this window can be resized to whatever dimension one might like, taking multitasking to the next level.
10.Dark Mode Scheduling: From this version onward the dark mode option, which enables the screen as well as the apps to adapt to the dark colour making the user possible to use their device at night without dimming the phone or straining their eyes, can be scheduled ahead to the user’s preference.
11.One-time Permissions: Android 10 asks for permissions for all the time, whenever users install an app for the first time. Android 11 on the other hand offers even more power to the user by allowing them to only grant permission for that particular session.