Android 11 Beta: Everything You Need to Know
Google has finally released the beta version of Android 11 after it was previewed by developers meaning that anyone who is eager to test this OS update can do so in their Pixel device. The best part? Downloading it won’t be difficult to do.
When is the Android 11 Release Date?
Just like with any tech announcements and launches lined up this year, Google wanted to go online to reveal its latest operating system. However, the launch for Android 11 beta, which was scheduled on the 3rd of June, did not push through. Google simply announced its beta OS through a press release, with the software released on June 11.
Even when the first beta software has already been released, the official Android 11 release date will not be made available to Android users in the latter part of the year. This will be around the same time as the launch of Google’s new Pixel smartphones which are slated to be released by October or even November.
Which Phones Are Supported?
The newer operating system is slated to be compatible with Pixel phones starting from Pixel 2 to 4 XL. Other brands may be supported soon. Previously, brands like Xiaomi and even OnePlus were included in the list of beta testers, but how the program was installed wasn’t easy unlike when used on Google’s devices.
Features to Look Forward To
What Android 11 features are expected in this latest OS? Here are a few that are worth mentioning.
New Notification Design
What’s great about the Android 11 beta is that the notification design has been upgraded. Google has deemed it better than any notifications that pop up will be assigned into specific groups. For example, all SMS messages will be located at the top of the list, so users will be able to select it and reply. This separates important notices to those that are not in your priority list.
The rest of the notices are then divided into notifications that are silent and require alerts. Silent notices are those that don’t require you to see or even hear such as your email or from your social media. On the other hand, notifications that come with alerts are for system functions that may be still operating in the phone’s background.
Additionally, the notification interface is visually better as there are gradients and even transparency features that add to its overall beauty.
Conversation Bubbles and Priority Chats
In the Android 11 beta, you can choose to have your messages appear as bubbles on your screen which is similar to the messenger application of Facebook. This is still limited to Pixel phones, but it may be supported for other devices in the long run. To make your messages appear as bubbles on your screen, press the message notification for a few seconds until an option for “Show in a bubble” appears. Select this option to activate it.
What other Android 11 features are there to enjoy? Embedded in the options for developers is the ability to activate media control through its drop-down menu. Basically, any program that is running media in your Android device can create a playback widget with matching colors to the album’s artwork. Additionally, the latest OS update from Google allows you to switch where you want your media to be played such as in an audio streamer, your TV, or headphones just to name a few.
Recording Your Screen
Another feature that was seen in the Android 11 beta is better to screen recording. Although this feature is already in place in other Android smartphones, it is the first for the latest OS. Drag down the quick setting and the option is already available. Just tap on this option for a pop up to appear where you will be asked if you are sure you want to begin recording your screen. By confirming the function, your device will automatically record whatever your actions are on your phone until you stop the recording and decide to save it. This can be canceled at any time you prefer.
Resizing Media Windows
Another example of Android 11 features that should be mentioned is the ability to resize any media window running in the foreground of the screen. Usually, when any video application is closed, the current video is minimized into a small window that floats on the main screen. Google has made it possible for the user to resize this window as they see fit.
Updated Screen for Recent Apps
Based on a developer preview, the screen for recent apps has been changed in Android 11. Instead of displaying suggestions for apps, it is now replaced with a share or screenshot feature. Also, the cards where thumbnails of previously used apps are now bigger in size for easy viewing.
In the latest preview, there is a button for ‘Select’ placed at the bottom of the icons included in the recently used apps screen to ensure that you will be able to select images or texts manually. If you accidentally removed a card from the memory, there is now an option to undo this move making it easier to retrieve previous cards in Android 11 beta.
Schedule When to Switch to Dark Mode
Everyone knows what Dark Mode is in any Android device which was rolled out during the release of Android 10. In Android 11, you can automate when your phone will switch to this dark theme. This is a handy feature since it allows you to decide when you want your device to go full Dark Mode. All that you have to do is to manually schedule when it should be activated. This is probably one of the best features in Android 11 beta.
Just like with the iPhone and other Android devices out there, the latest Android OS has changed how screenshots are displayed. This time, a small thumbnail of the screenshot will appear on your screen. An X mark lets you dismiss this photo. There are options for sharing and sending too.
Adjusting Sensitivity for Back Gestures
If you have activated the gesture controls on your phone, when you swipe from the edge of your device, the back button will be replaced. When you have the latest OS on your phone, you will be able to control the sensitivity. This is a useful feature if you are using a program that has its own gestures and controls.
Access via Voice
The latest operating system comes with a new feature that lets you control your smartphone with just your voice through Voice Access. When this program is activated, you will be able to order your device to do different functions just with your voice. Each function has a number assigned to it so that you will be able to call out the number and the phone will follow the command that falls under that number.
There is no mention yet of the actual Android 11 release date, but with this line up of new features linked to this newest OS, many are eager to get their hands on it. Google’s newest OS seems promising in terms of updates on apps and with the features mentioned above, Android users will have more reason to enjoy their smartphones once this update is rolled out.