Google has released a test version of its annual upgrade to its Android software.
To make communication easier and simpler on your phone, Android 11 will move all of your conversations across multiple messaging apps to a dedicated space in the notification section. This makes it easy to see, respond to and manage your conversations all in one place. You can mark a conversation as priority to give it preference. These key conversations show up on your always-on display and can even “break through” a Do Not Disturb setting.
Android 11 also introduces Bubbles, a new feature to help you respond and engage with important conversations without switching back and forth between your current task and the messaging app. You can open a bubble for your conversation right from the notification and multitask without missing a thing.
In addition, when you type using Gboard in Android 11, you’ll get relevant and automatic suggestions for emoji and text. This is possible because of secure on-device intelligence that takes advantage of Federated Learning, and it works without Google ever seeing anything you type.
You can now quickly access and control your smart devices in one place by long pressing on the power button. Adjusting the temperature, turning on the lights or unlocking the front door can now be done with a tap without opening multiple apps.
Your device controls will show up alongside other things you need at the ready, like your payment methods or your boarding pass.
Google is also introducing new media controls in Android 11, making it quick to switch the device your audio or video content is playing on. It is now easier to bring your music with you from your headphones, to speakers, or even to your TV.
Every Android release has new privacy and security controls that let you decide how and when data on your device is shared. Android 11 has even more granular controls for the most sensitive permissions. With one-time permissions you can grant apps access to your microphone, camera or location, just that one time. The next time the app needs access to these sensors, it will have to ask you for permission again.
In addition, if you haven’t used an app for an extended period of time, we will “auto-reset” all of the permissions associated with that app and notify you of the same. You can always choose to re-grant the app permissions the next time you open the app.
Android 11 brings many more features to your smartphone, like screen recorder, updated Voice Access, improved performance, and an improved share menu that makes it easier to share content from your phone. You can find many of these features in Beta, available on Pixel 2+ phones today and other devices in the coming weeks.
In contrast, more than 80% of iPhone users typically download the annual upgrades to Apple’s iOS, the software powering those devices. Apple plans to preview the next version of its iOS June 22 during an event that will be held online instead of an in-person event that attracts thousands of people from all over the world to Silicon Valley.