Android 11 features: 5 best new software tools and how you’ll use them

Android 11 features: 5 best new software tools and how you’ll use them


Android 11 has a bunch of candies. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google released the first public beta of Android 11 earlier this week, bringing beneath-the-hood capabilities for builders and daring users alike. You would additionally set up the first beta colorful now as long as you can have a Pixel 2 or more contemporary Google Pixel cellphone, but even need to you do now not, any Android fan can look forward to the bonus instruments that’ll strategy to telephones. 

I signed as much as utilize part within the beta program on a Pixel 4 XL ($799 at Amazon) and have been digging by the update. Up to now, I’m a unparalleled fan of the unusual rapid controls page, which is easy to access and extremely priceless, along with the revamped media controls. Loads of capabilities, admire app suggestions and Bubbles, will utilize some getting dilapidated to. 

These 5 capabilities right here don’t seem to be the stout extent of Android 11. Google is almost guaranteed to have extra surprises in store for us. Meanwhile, regain acquainted with these Android 11 capabilities now, so that you just realize what’s coming to your cellphone later this year. 


Android 11’s rapid controls are my unusual accepted controls. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 11 Rapid Controls are an correct highlight

The very very first thing you must perform after putting in Android 11, whether or no longer or no longer it’s the beta or when or no longer it’s formally released, is long-press the flexibility button on your cellphone to ship up the unusual rapid controls camouflage. On the Pixel, as a minimum, this camouflage offers you power defend a watch on alternate choices along the head, offers shortcuts to your Google Pay playing cards and boarding passes, and then below which you might perhaps get my accepted purpose of Android 11 — rapid controls for tremendous dwelling gadgets. 

My cellphone routinely picked about a gadgets I’ve linked to Google Assistant, admire the Nest thermostat in my place of work and my Nest video doorbell. I’m in a position to even peep a livestream from my doorbell straight away on this camouflage, without needing to open the Nest app (which is dreary and a anguish to employ). Or no longer it’s unparalleled. 

You would additionally add or desire tremendous dwelling gadgets from this grid by tapping on the menu button and selecting add or edit controls.

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Bubbles look all kinds of helpful. 


Messaging Bubbles on your visitors look admire they’ll be helpful 

Remember Bubbles? This purpose used to be alleged to be part of Android 10, but Google pulled it on the last minute. Effectively, they’re again. 

Bubbles are identical to Fb Messengers “chat heads” purpose. When activated, a small avatar — or Bubble — on your camouflage that is visible no subject what app you will be the employ of. Faucet on the avatar and it might perhaps perhaps open a small window so that you just can read and send unusual messages in that thread, without totally opening the app. You would additionally hobble the Bubble around your camouflage, or hobble it to the bottom of the camouflage to delete it. 

Within the first public beta, the totally app that appears to be like to work with Bubbles colorful now’s Fb Messenger. Even then, it would now not totally work. We demand Google will figure out the kinks forward of the stout Android 11 release.

In picture to employ Bubbles for a dialog, there will be a small Bubbles icon within the bottom-colorful corner of the notification. Tapping on it might perhaps perhaps straight enable Bubbles for that thread.

But one more arrangement to set off Bubbles for explicit conversations is to long-press on its notification and designate it as a precedence. Doing so is no longer going to totally set off Bubbles for that thread, but it completely might perhaps also allow that dialog to spoil by Attain No longer Disturb making sure you do now not miss any messages. 


App suggestions on the dwelling camouflage are unusual. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

App Suggestions change your app dock

Today after putting within the public beta and unlocking my Pixel 4 XL, I was greeted with an choice to enable app suggestions on the dwelling camouflage. In doubt of what precisely that used to be, I reluctantly agreed. Turns out, or no longer it’s resplendent darn frigid. 

Beforehand, Android made suggestions within the app drawer of apps it thought you would need to employ, looking out on the time of day and varied mysterious components. In Android 11, there is now a row of app suggestions on the bottom of your condominium camouflage where your fundamental app dock would routinely point out up. 

The apps have a fine border around them, and most steadily trade need to you return to your condominium camouflage as you make employ of your cellphone. You would additionally long-press on any of the app icons to pin that suggestion to your condominium camouflage. 

You would additionally block apps from exhibiting up as suggestions need to you do now not desire something admire Gmail exhibiting up even supposing you make employ of a varied e-mail app. 

To access App Suggestions and tailor how it in actual fact works for you long-press on your condominium camouflage and buy Dwelling Settings then Suggestions. There you can defend a watch on suggestions within the app drawer and on the dwelling camouflage or block apps from exhibiting up on the list. 


The unusual media controls sure look good. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 11 gets fancier music controls

Within the blog put up announcement for the Android 11 public beta, Google showed off a peculiar music defend a watch on interface that seemed perfect. In desire to playback controls taking a look extra admire a pending notification, they’re placed within the Rapid Settings panel on the head of your camouflage. And need to you work along side them, there is a peculiar choice to defend a watch on where the music is enjoying. 

For instance, need to you can have Google’s unusual Pixel Buds 2 and a Nest Hub ($89 at Crutchfield), you can fleet swap between the 2 gadgets with a pair of faucets. 

If you set up the Android 11 beta, the purpose is nowhere to be found need to you open enjoying music. Don’t regain heart-broken — or no longer it’s there, but it completely’s hidden. 

It’s seemingly it’s essential to enable Developer Alternatives on your cellphone by opening the Settings app and going to About cellphone. Scroll to the bottom of the camouflage where you can get Rep Amount. Faucet on it until you look a small notification point out up announcing something admire “Congrats! You would be now a developer.” 

Subsequent, we’ll need to trudge into Developer Alternatives in Settings> Machine. As soon as there, get Media resumption, turn it on, and then reboot your cellphone. 

The next time you open enjoying some music, the unusual media controls will be obtainable. 


You would additionally at last file your camouflage with an legitimate Google instrument. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

A built-in camouflage recorder

Screenshots are a temporary and straightforward arrangement to utilize something on your camouflage, but there are occasions when a recording is greater suited to the job at hand. For instance, in picture so that you just can direct their very have praises your gaming abilities, or highlight the steps to breed a pc virus — camouflage recording FTW! 

Yow will stumble on the Cover File instrument within the Rapid Settings panel after putting in Android 11. If or no longer it’s no longer visible, tap on the pencil icon so as to add it to your panel.

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Faucet on the Cover File icon and buy whether or no longer you’ll need your microphone to file audio and in picture for you your touch interactions to be highlighted within the video. To finish recording, tap the Cover File notification. The video will be saved to your camera roll where you can then edit and portion the recording. 

We are going to defend digging into Android 11 and look what varied candies are hidden or added for the length of the rest of the beta course of. Within the duration in-between, need to you actual can’t look forward to Android 11 to starting up later this year, you can set up it colorful now.