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Android 11 New Features 2020 | All You Need To Know [Updated]

Android 11 New Features & Release Date

Android 11 New Features & Release Date: The Android 11 update has just officially launched. After being announced all the way back in February, and after months of several beta updates, in June, Google finally publicly released the latest and greatest version of Google’s smartphone and tablet operating system is here for all.

Okey-Dokey! when we are telling about ‘here for all’, we mean the latest version of the Android 11 OS has begun to roll out, though it’s own self-made Pixel phones more or less immediately right now. We have listed below which smartphones are compatible with Android 11, and more companies are announcing the update is coming to their phones all the time, so this list will keep getting expanded.

We have listed all the latest Android 11 features that have been announced. There are some intriguing features, like improved smart home and media controls, and built-in screen recording, but there’s nothing as major as Android 10’s Dark Mode.

As well as the confirmed Android 11 features, Google always adds small tweaks and quirks to its updates that it doesn’t always detail, so as more of these get discovered by intrepid users, we’ll add them to this list.

Finally, as with most Android builds, Android 11 has a cool hidden Easter egg, and we’ve got a guide to how you can access and use that.

If you’ve got a low-end phone Android 11 might not come to you at all – that’s why Google also designed Android 11 (Go edition) which is a lightweight version of the operating system that works on handsets with 2GB or less of RAM. Phones running this version of Android 11 should start coming out soon.

What is it?
When did it launch?
How much does it cost?

The latest Android operating system
September 8, at least on Pixel phones
Android 11 is a free update

Android 11 Release Date

Google released the final Android 11 update on September 8, 2020, after months of several beta updates. We were waiting for this date, thanks to leaks from the company, but Google itself didn’t build up much fanfare for the new operating system.

Okey, September 8 has been marked as the release of Android 11 on Pixel phones, but if you own a handset from a company other than Google, you’ll have to wait.

Manufacturers with custom forks of Android will now need to build their own versions of Android 11, then roll them out to their smartphones – that could be quick, for newer flagships, but if you’ve got an older or mid-range handset you might be waiting a while.

We’ll update this article when more phones get Android 11 rolled out.


Android 11 New Features Compatible Phones

The software update is available to owners of Google’s Pixel devices (Pixel 2 and newer) as well as devices from OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme.

  1. Google Pixel 2 / 2 XL
  2. Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL
  3. Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL
  4. Google Pixel 4 / 4 XL
  5. Google Pixel 4a
  6. Xiaomi Mi 10 / Mi 10 Pro
  7. OnePlus 8
  8. Oppo Find X2 and Find X2 Pro
  9. Realme X50 Pro

Poco has also announced Android 11 will come to the F2 Pro.

How To Android 11 Download

We think it might take a while for you to get Android 11 if you don’t have one of the devices listed above, or if your device is over a year old. Some manufacturers like Samsung will take months to send it out to their own devices.

To check if you can Android 11 download the update, head into:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Near the bottom, tap System > Advanced  > System update.
  3. See your “Android version” and “Security patch level“.

Note: Your settings menu might look different based on your device.

And here’s how to actually grab the latest Android update:

  1. When you get a notification about an update, tap the update action.
  2. Or, if you accidentally cleared your notification, follow these steps:
    • Open your phone’s Settings app.
    • Near the bottom, tap System > Advanced  > System update.
    • You’ll see your updated status. Follow the steps on your screen.

Google also has a FAQ page here with more details on how to update your Android device.

Read Also: Samsung Galaxy A51: Review & Specifications

Here Is A List Of All Android 11 New Features

Android 11 New Features – A New Power Menu

The biggest visual change is what happens when you open the power menu (a long-press of the power button on most phones). You used to just see the options to restart the phone, lock it, or turn it off, but now you get quick access to your default Google Pay credit or debit card (you can change the default in the Google Pay app) if you’ve set it up. Boarding passes and other tickets added through Google Pay can be accessed here as well. Use Samsung Pay instead? You’ll presumably be able to access cards the same way if you set it as your phone’s default Tap and Pay solution (Settings > Connections > NFC and payment > Tap and pay > Samsung Pay).

Below the cards, you’ll find shortcuts to any smart home controls you’ve set up through the Google Home app. These quick access tiles let you toggle the power switch on lights, TVs, vacuums, and any other smart home device with just a tap, saving you the step of using your voice or opening up the Google Home app. You can customize these controls from the power menu itself (tap the triple dots on the right).

Android 11 New Features – New conversations tab

When you swipe down from the top in Android 10, you bring down your notification bar – well, in Android 11, that’s split into two sections, consisting of your notifications, and your ‘conversations’.

These conversations are basically just chatted notifications from chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter, so you know they’re probably more worth paying attention to than the other notifications.

This way you can easily see if people need you, and reply straight away too. You can also now pin conversations to ‘Bubbles’ – you might have seen these for Facebook Messenger, where a floating icon appears above other apps to show you that you have a message.

Now you can get messages from more apps to appear as bubbles, and you can pin them there too so the chat is always easily accessible.

A related improvement is that Gboard, the default Android keyboard, will now auto-fill forms with relevant information, similar to what Chrome currently does, which should save time if you’re frequently filling out your information.

Android 11 New Features – Built-in screen recording

Android 11 brings a feature some custom Android forks already have – built-in screen recording. This lets you use easily-accessible controls within the phone to create a video of what’s on your screen, similar to screenshots.

You can even record the sound of your phone, or use the mic to narrate what you’re doing, so this should be a great feature for creating short-form video like TikToks, or for making tutorial videos to help less tech-savvy relatives make the most of their smartphone.

Related to this, the Android 11 sharing functions have seen wider rollout to apps, so you can easily copy and paste images, text, and videos from one app and send them straight to another.

Android 11 New Features – The streamlined media player

Switching audio devices is a bit of a pain on Android, especially now that Bluetooth headphones are increasingly the norm. Sometimes I listen through my phone’s speakers, sometimes I use headphones, others my fancy speakers or TV. Android 11 lets you quickly select your audio output from the notifications shade.

Android 11 also provides more extensive media controls for interacting with your music in the notifications shade. For example, you can now resume a music session right from said menu – no need to open Spotify again after you’ve closed it. Google says you’ll be able to switch between apps in the order they were last played, which is handy for someone like me who constantly switches between music and audiobooks.

Android 11 New Features – Back gesture tweaking

With gestures controlling movements in Android 10, users faced the issue of listing out certain apps menu, when they tried to go back. But with Android, we will see sliders that will allow the user to control the sensitivity of the back gesture. There will be two sliders, one for the left-hand side of the screen and one for the right.

Android 11 New Features – Improved support for curved displays

Curved displays surely make the device appealing but with curved displays, one can face quite some issues with accidental touches. Now and then unintentional touches end up ruining the experience. But now in Android 11, Google has come up with a new API. This will allow developers to specify the screen area for interaction.

Android 11 New Features – Airplane mode won’t turn off Bluetooth

In previous Android versions, we had Bluetooth killed off when Airplane mode was turned on. Then we had to turn Bluetooth on the back again. This is an issue especially considering how popular Bluetooth earphones have been in recent times. So now even when someone toggles on the Airplane mode, the Bluetooth won’t get turned off and keep functioning perfectly.

Android 11 New Features – Share menu App pinning

At one point, even one of the top leads of Android admitted that Android’s sharing system was a mess. Thankfully, it’s gotten a lot better over the past year and is about to get even more useful with Android 11.

You can now pin apps to your share sheet in order to easily access them whenever you want to share something. In the image above, you can see the option to pin Chrome’s printing feature to the share sheet or even pin Chrome’s ability to send URLs to other devices.

This feature allows you, the user, to control which apps appear at the top of the list when you want to share something. Android’s current system of presenting apps in an order that it determines is confusing and makes power users pretty frustrated, so this is a welcome change!

Android 11 New Features – Even Better Notifications

When a new notification pops up, specifically speaking a text, you have the latest one on top and you can pull it down to tap in the reply. With Android 11 you will be able to do way more than just opening up the topmost latest text to reply. One will even be able to send picture messages right from the notification tab.

Android 11 New Features – Chat Bubbles

Remember chat heads? Facebook Messenger has long-used chat heads that float everywhere, even in other apps, as a way to quickly access DM conversations. Google is taking that idea, calling it Bubbles, and expanding it natively to other messaging apps. To turn it on, head to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Bubbles and toggle it on. You’ll now see your messages appear as floating bubbles, though not all messaging apps work (Instagram Directs and Twitter Direct Messages can’t be bubble field, for example). You can move these bubbles around; dragging them to the bottom of the screen gets rid of them.

On the notification itself, you’ll see a tiny arrow and circle icon on the bottom right. When the arrow points at the bubble, tapping it will open up the conversation as a bubble. If the arrow is facing away from the bubble, tapping it will open your message in the messaging app. These bubbles are grouped together with various messaging apps, so a Telegram bubble can be grouped with a Facebook Messenger bubble, and you can even set specific conversations as bubbles too. It makes it dead simple to continue conversations anywhere.

Android 11 New Features – Dark mode scheduling

It was pretty exciting when Google finally introduced a native dark mode to Android 10. However, it was fairly simplistic: it was either on or off. Meanwhile, Android skins from other manufacturers allow users to control when and why dark mode should be activated.

With Android 11, users can now schedule the dark theme using one of two different metrics. You can schedule a dark theme to turn on or off when the sun sets or rises. You can also set up a custom schedule for dark mode activation if you wish.

Google actually rolled out the sunset/sunrise setting to Pixel phones running Android 10 earlier this year, but Android 11 will bring both that and the timing feature to all.

Android 11 New Features – One time permissions

New apps you install ask you for permission to access certain components of the phone, like the microphone, camera, GPS, and other sensors. Most of the time this is necessary for features to work. A video messaging app you install will need access to the camera and microphone so you can make video calls. But there are apps that have abused these permissions to collect more data about you.

In Android 11, you get the option to force an app to ask for permission every single time it wants to use a component on your phone. That sits alongside the existing option to allow access only when you are using the app. Even better, apps you don’t use but are still installed on your phone can automatically see their permissions revoked over time (“a few months” according to Google). You need to opt into this though. Press and hold the app icon, tap App Info (the ‘i’ symbol), and tap Permissions. At the very bottom, you’ll see a toggle to Remove permissions if the app isn’t used.

Android 11 New Features – Scoped storage

Apps will now have access to only certain parts of your file system, better protecting a user’s private data. This will basically “silo” apps for data protection. This has already caused a stir though in the development society, and Google has announced that they won’t release this feature in the stable if there are any issues regarding security and access.

Android 11 New Features – Security and privacy

The Android 11 update brings some changes to app permissions. Now, you can grant an app permission to, say, your camera or location, on a one-off basis, instead of the existing options of ‘all the time’ and ‘only while using the app’.

In addition, your phone will automatically revoke permissions for apps if you haven’t used them in a while, so an app won’t track your location if you forget you have it downloaded, for example.

Android 11 New Features – Improved Voice Access for Accessibility

Voice Access is an accessibility app Google introduced several years ago that allows people to control phones with just their voice. Previously, it required you to memorize a few commands or choose corresponding numbers on the screen. Android 11 is even better at understanding the content on the screen and the context around it. Just say the name of the app you want to open or the action you want to complete, and the phone will understand—or at least, more often than it used to. In order to use Voice Access, make sure you have the app installed first.

Android 11 New Features – More App Suggestions

Android already makes smart suggestions for apps you might want to open next. Based on the context of your current workflow, or even your location and surroundings, it shows a selection of relevant apps in the top row of the app drawer. Android 11 now lets you add a dedicated “suggested apps” dock on the home screen. It basically bumps your existing dock up a row. The new dock that appears beneath the existing one will be populated with an ever-changing collection of apps Android expects you’ll want to open next.

If you’re very particular about where apps should appear on your home screen, then this is not the feature for you. You can toggle it on or off by pressing on the home screen, going to Home settings > Suggestions > Suggestions on Home screen. But you can mix and match things by pinning a couple of preferred apps in this new dock and leaving the empty slots for the revolving suggestions.

Android 11 New Features – Motion controls for certain phones

The Pixel 4 appears with sensors that track air movement & now we will finally take a look at updates from Android that will make the complete use of this future hardware. Pixel 4 users with Android 11 will be able to interact with apps without really touching the screen if the bugs don’t cause any major issues here.

FAQ On Android 11 New Features

1. What phones will get Android 11?

  1. Google Pixel 2 / 2 XL
  2. Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL
  3. Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL
  4. Google Pixel 4 / 4 XL
  5. Google Pixel 4a
  6. Xiaomi Mi 10 / Mi 10 Pro
  7. OnePlus 8
  8. Oppo Find X2 and Find X2 Pro
  9. Realme X50 Pro

2. What new features does Android 10 have?

  • Live Caption.
  • Smart Reply.
  • Sound Amplifier.
  • Gesture Navigation.
  • Dark Theme.
  • Privacy Controls.
  • Location Controls.
  • Security Updates.

3. What is the latest Android version 2020?

Android 11 is the 11th major release and the 18th version of the Android mobile operating system. It was released on September 8, 2020.

4. What is the difference between Android 10 and 11?

Android 10 lets apps grab your location, microphone, or camera data only while the app is open. Now, with Android 11 you will be able to approve those permissions just a single time and the OS will revoke the permission later.

5. Will there be Android 11?

Android 11 is the eleventh major release and the 18th version of the Android mobile operating system. It was released on September 8, 2020. Alphabetical release names based on desserts were discontinued as of Android 10; therefore the OS was immediately branded as “Android 11”.

6. What is Android 10 called?

Share All sharing options for: Google deserts desserts: Android 10 is the official name for Android Q. Google has officially named the next version of Android, which is due to be released this fall: Android 10.

7. Does Android 10 have new Emojis?

New Android 11 emojis on Gboard on a device running Android 10. However, the new emojis don’t always show up on the keyboard. Redditor u/theprogrammerx shared a comparison of what he sees in Gboard on his OnePlus 7 Pro: In Messages, he gets the Android 11 emojis, while on Twitter the existing Android 10 ones appear.

8. How do I upgrade to Android 10?

Android 10 for Pixel devices

Go to Settings > System > System Update to check for the update. Pro tip: If you want the Android 10 update straight away, opt into the beta, and then the final version will immediately arrive.

9. Which phone is the latest phone now?

The 10 best smartphones of 2020: Samsung’s Note 20 tops the list
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra 5G. $1,100 at Amazon.
  • Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus/S20 Ultra. $1,187 at Amazon.
  • LG V60 ThinQ 5G. $900 at LG.
  • OnePlus 8/8 Pro. $999 at OnePlus.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10/10 Plus. $696 at Back Market.
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max. $1,099 at Apple
  • Google Pixel 4A.
  • Apple iPhone 11.

10. What is the best Android phone 2020?

The best Android phones of 2020: get the best Android smartphone for you
  1. Samsung Galaxy S20.
  2. OnePlus 8 Pro.
  3. Google Pixel 4a.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G.
  5. OnePlus Nord.
  6. Huawei P40 Pro Plus.
  7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
  8. Oppo Find X2 Pro.


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