First announced in February this year, the Android 11 platform has finally launched. As expected, it is available for download in versions for the Google Pixel 2, 3, 3A, 4 and 4A. OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro will start receiving Android 11 based firmware from today in the US, Europe and India. The OS is also available for some Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme models. In the coming months, other manufacturers will start rolling out new devices with Android 11 and updating the firmware on older ones.
This version of Google’s mobile OS is designed to make working with your smartphone more convenient. In particular, it has become easier to manage conversations, connected devices, privacy settings, and so on. The search giant posted 11 key changes to Android 11 in a blog post.
Communication has become more convenient:
- Today, a typical smartphone has several instant messengers installed at once. Android 11 has a dedicated notifications section for chats from different apps, so you can manage conversations right there. In addition, it became possible to mark some chats as priority, so as not to miss messages from more important contacts.
- Pop-up chats will make it more convenient and simple to perform several tasks on your phone at the same time: you don’t have to switch between applications to reply to a message.
- Now the screen recording function is built into the OS. It allows you to capture everything that happens on the display, and then share the video. In this case, you can record sound from a microphone or from a device, or you can – from two sources at once. Previously, this had to use third-party applications (however, the function was included in some alternative skins).
There are new ways to manage connected devices and media content:
- All smart devices are now available in one section. To enter it, press and hold the power button. You no longer have to open many applications to control compatible connected devices like the thermostat or Smart Lock.
- Google has redesigned its media controls and made them more user-friendly. Now you can quickly switch between devices playing music (for example, a speaker and headphones) without interrupting the song.
- All Android 11 phones now work wirelessly with Android Auto, provided the vehicle is equipped with a compatible infotainment system. That is, while driving, all the functions of your phone are wirelessly available to you: one-touch route guidance, dictating messages, turning on music and Google Assistant commands.
The privacy and personal data settings have been improved:
- You can now set up one-time access for apps to microphone, camera, or location information. The next time the app needs access, it will ask for permission again.
- Also, Android devices will now automatically reset access for applications that have not been used for a long time – a corresponding notification will be sent about this. If the user decides to use the program again, he can restore the settings at any time.
- Google, starting with Android 10, began to promote system component updates directly within the Project Mainline. Android 11 introduces 12 additional modules for updating the system through Google Play – now there are 22 of them. That is, through the application store on the phone, by analogy with updating applications, more security and privacy fixes will be received directly from Google. Instead of waiting for a new firmware to be released, security updates will arrive on the smartphone more quickly.
- Android 11 will give Android Enterprise users an equal level of privacy on work and personal devices. If the user added a work account to the smartphone, the technical support department can manage the device without gaining access to personal data and actions on the smartphone.
In addition, Android 11 adds a number of optimizations for smartphones on 5G networks; improved support for new types of screens (perforated, drop-shaped, bendable, and so on); improved neural networks support in Neural Networks API 1.3 and much more – we wrote more about this back in February.
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