Yash Raj

Android 10 brought a major revamp to Androids look and feel, which helped it grow into a mature operating system it is today.

Continuing the trend, Google has now released the Beta of Android 11 a few weeks back, we are still a few months out before it is available to mainstream users but, it gives us a clear picture as to where Google wants to take Android in 2020.

There are a ton of minor changes in the Beta Version, and as it is uncertain if many of them will make it to the final release.

Ready to learn about what changes Android 11 is packing? Here are the changes you need to know!

  • Revamped notification bar
  • Quick Controls
  • Media Controls (Fancier music player)
  • Homescreen
  • Android Permissions

Revamped Notification Bar

An essential feature of a mature operating system is the way it handles notifications keeping the trend alive Google has made tweaks to the way Android 11 handles notifications.

In Android 11 all your notifications are separated into three major sections:-

  • Conversations
  • Alerting Notifications
  • Silent Notifications 

The new Section here is Conversations, which separates all your chat notifications into a section at the top. 

Allowing you to mark a user's notification as a priority helping them to break out from do not disturb mode, and when you look at the top of your screen, you will see their profile instead of the app icon.

Conversations also allow you to Bubble a notification which is similar to the Facebook messenger and helps you quickly respond to a message.

Presently the Bubble feature only works with Facebook messenger and takes up about the size of the screen.

You can now also go into settings and find your notification history if you accidentally dismiss your notification.

Media Controls

Pre-Android 11 the media playback control used to be in the notifications shade Google is now moving it to quick settings when you expand it down, you get a button, which when pressed, allows you to choose where your audio goes and shows you the list of devices you can pair too.

Presently it is a bit buggy but, you can have more than one media control open at the same time, but at present, it is a bit buggy and does not work with all the apps considering it is still in Beta.

Quick Controls

Holding the power button now gives you access to your regular power options your Google wallet, bank cards and boarding passes these are things we have seen before, what's new is that Google is putting smart home controls underneath that.

It is similar to what the iPhone does with the home control and control center but, here it is in this power menu.

You can customize what buttons show up here, tap on a button to turn the lights on or off, add controls, and long press a button to see more options.
This section is powered by the Google Home app, which is good, as it is one less thing to set up, but it does mean that it wouldn't be surprising to see different smartphone manufacturers customize the power menu to their liking.

So, for instance, a Samsung phone might have Samsung pay instead of Google pay and Samsung smart home controls in this section instead of Google Home controls.

Homescreen

The home screen in Android 11 is getting some minor changes. One thing you can do now is to replace your dock with suggested apps from Android and pin the app that you use the most from suggestions.

It would be a cool feature to use if the suggestions were accurate, which is not the case now.

The recent or the multitasking screen now has three new buttons on the bottom, ScreenshotSelect and Share.

If you tap on Screenshot, it takes a screenshot of the app that is at the front on the multitasking screen. You can tap on Select to select the text from the app and copy it to your clipboard or, you can tap on share and, it will take a screenshot of the frontmost app and pull up the share screen.

Permissions

One of the highlight features of Android 10 was its improved handling of app permissions. It gave users more control over the application and what they could access. Android 11 keeps the ball rolling.

Now when you launch an app that asks for your sensitive data like location, contacts, camera, or microphone, you can choose to grant it access on a one-time basis and, and as soon as you leave the app, the permission is rescinded.

Giving apps permission to these aspects of your phone should not be taken lightly and, it is good to see Google pushing a step forward and giving its users more control.

Final Impressions

Android 11 has got a few other minor tweaks that I have not covered here, but to conclude, Android 11 is more of a feature update that focuses on improving the functionality of Android than a complete revamp to the operating system like Android 10.

You can try the Andriod 11 Beta right now!

As of June 10, Android 11 is available as a beta build and, anyone with a Pixel 2 or above can download and test it out.

All you have to do is go to the Android Beta Program website and enroll your Pixel for the program. Once you have done that, you will be getting and OTA(Over-the-air) update of Android 11 to your device.

Google says it is stable for regular usage, but as expected from a Beta build, few areas are not functioning well and, you should expect some bugs and glitches along the way.

So if you are not a tester or a developer, it's better to hold back a few weeks until its final release is out.