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9 hidden gems worth digging up in Android 11

Android 11’s most significant additions could be more about privacy than any front-facing flashiness, however the software sure has its share of substantial surface-level improvements.

I’ve been utilizing the new Android 11 Beta release because it arrived final Wednesday. It’s our first proper look at Google’s finish (or at the very least near-comprehensive) vision for another Android version, and contains a few new little but impactful experience-enhancing components quite. Some of ’em match the three broad designs I covered in my latest newsletter, while some are scattered little treasures strewn through the entire software just.

But most of ’em are things you wouldn’t necessarily notice by yourself — and, in some full cases, wouldn’t even see if you don’t knew which out-of-the-way change to flip.

Whether you’re on the list of adventurous explorers already checking out Android 11 or you’re maintaining an analytical eye onto it from the distance, these noteworthy brand new touches are worth taking into consideration and/or remember for the future.

(Of note: We wouldn’t suggest a lot of people install the Android 11 Beta at this stage — especially not really on a primary cell phone that’s required for day-to-day productivity. The program is stable relatively, but it’s nevertheless a beta-level discharge that’s unfinished rather than designed for broad, public make use of, and you will come across occasional glitches and app compatibility problems when working with it.)

Google android 11 gem #1: Notification History

First up is really a feature I am longing to see within Android for a long time: an integral and user-friendly Notification History area. What’s within Android 11 isn’t the full notification inbox idea I’d been envisioning, but hey, baby steps, correct?

All quibbling apart, Android 11’s Notification History feature does just what you’d expect: It offers you a good way to look back with notifications you’ve dismissed and also connect to their contents as though these were still present. It is possible to go so far as a day &mdash back; but there is a catch: The function won’t be present if you don’t first discover and enable it.

To do that, start the Apps & Notifications portion of one’s body settings, tap the series that states “Notifications,” and look for the brand new “Notification history” collection near the top of the screen that arises. Tap that, and you will have the ability to activate a toggle to show the feature on.

And you do once, well, great golly, how ’bout that?
Google android 11: Notification HistoryJR
There she is! It is possible to pull up your extravagant new Notification History area anytime by searching for the “History” choice beneath your notifications.
Google android 11: Notification History commandJR
Such a long time, accidental-swipe-away regret!

Google android 11 gem #2: Concern conversation alerts

Among Android 11’s best adjustments may be the way this emphasizes conversation-related notifications — putting all this kind of alerts, of what messaging app they originated from regardless, to their own separate area near the top of your notification panel. But there’s another section of that program that’s pretty effective and handy to possess.

Once you press and hold any kind of notification within the brand new Conversations section, you will see a one-touch choice for setting it since a “Priority” conversation:
Google android 11: Priority conversationJR
Activating that option may cause any upcoming alerts from that particular contact to appear near the top of your Conversations area — and, in a neat little touch, may also result in that person’s profile photograph to appear as its individual icon within the position bar near the top of your screen every time a notification from them exists.
Google android 11: Priority conversation notificationJR
Visual novelty aside, that basically does make it simpler to see when something pushing &mdash particularly; an incoming information from your own boss, an alert about your extra-huge meatball sandwich being prepared for pickup, or regardless of the full case could be — is demanding your interest.

Google android 11 gem #3: Bubbles

As you may or might not know by now, I’m very intrigued by Bubbles — a fresh multitasking system we initial found out about in Android 10 and so are just now addressing experience for the very first time. Well, almost.

The theory behind Bubbles would be to have a system-degree interface for keeping important conversations (as well as perhaps also eventually various content) on requirement and easily available anytime with a small circular icon that sits atop other things that you’re carrying out. Tap the icon, and the associated conversation shall come in a floating window. Tap it again, also it gets condensed into the bubble back.

The problem, by at this time, is that Bubbles requires apps to aid it to be able to mean anything — therefore far, best I could tell, somewhere within “almost no” and “totally zero” apps do. But that’s bound to improve in a short time, via Google’s own Communications app, if absolutely nothing else. (The state word from Search engines is that Text messages should get Bubbles assistance in its beta channel next couple weeks and more broadly sometime within the next month roughly.)

In the meantime, you will get your phone prepared for Bubbles by allowing the feature: Just return in to the Apps & Notifications portion of your system settings, once again tap “Notifications,” which right time, look for the range labeled “Bubbles.”

Tap that, flip upon the toggle to activate after that it.
Google android 11: BubblesJR
You can even manually enable or even disable any specific app’s capability to turn a conversation right into a bubble by heading back to the primary Apps & Notification display within your system configurations, tapping the “Notice all apps” line, getting and selecting the app you need in the list after that. As soon as you’re in the app’s settings display screen, tap “Notifications” and search for the “Bubbles” choice there.
Google android 11: Bubbles appJR
Mmm…bubbly.

Google android 11 gem #4: Customized share pinning

This next thing can be an tiny and trivial-seeming touch especially, but my goodness, am I excited to view it ever. It’s the come back of a little-identified, underappreciated option from Android’s Nougat era that enables you to customize the machine share menu — the set of options that arises once the Share is strike by you command from in a app.

Android’s share menus is a useful solution to move info in one app to another, however the options you make use of probably the most often aren’t near the top of the list. Well, after eliminating the opportunity to customize the purchase at some true stage along the way, Google is offering us back that strength. And I, for just one, will accept it gladly.

To manage one’s body share menu in Google android 11, reveal something from an application &mdash just; for example, in Chrome, you can tap the three-dot menus icon while looking at a web page and select Talk about — and just press and keep your finger to any icon in the checklist that arises and tap the choice to pin it.
Android 11: Discuss pinJR
That’ll location the icon right into a special area near the top of your share menus, where it’ll appear regularly regardless of what app you’re posting from (as long as the app isn’t annoyingly which consists of own custom share user interface rather than the system standard, that’s — grumble, grumble, grumble).

It was an incredible hidden gem when it arrived back 2016 first, and it’s in the same way awesome upon its revival these days.

Google android 11 gem #5: The native screen recorder

Find yourself having to record something on your own screen &mdash ever; maybe to show another person a feature or even to give a distanced demo of some kind? Traditionally, you’ve required a third-party app on Google android to accomplish that. By Google android 11, that’s no more the case.

This first beta carries a new native screen recording system, although — again &mdash once; it’s your decision to find it.

The choice is tucked in your Quick Settings area away, so begin by swiping down from the very best of your screen two times to open that one area up — then tap the small small pencil icon in the lower-left part to edit it.

Once you have done that, you ought to be in a position to scroll down and discover an icon for “Screen Record” in the portion of the screen specialized in inactive Quick Settings choices. Keep your finger onto its icon and drag it up into any place you prefer within the energetic Quick Settings region, back out of this editing menu then, and you should have the ability to discover the icon wherever you plopped it:
Google android 11: Screen recordJR
All that’s left would be to tap that sucker, and ta-da:
Google android 11: Screen record promptJR
You can even choose to have the recorder capture audio via the phone’s mic, in the event you want to narrate alongside whatever you’re showing, and you could have it create a visual mark on the screen each time you touch any place in purchase to illustrate just what you’re doing. (With the third-celebration recorder apps of yore, you’d need to wade strong into Android’s developer choices to be able to accomplish this type of feat.)

Unfortunately, the operational system continues to be lacking some screen recorder basics — like the capability to edit everything you recorded and to transform it into an animated GIF for simple sharing — but it is a start!

Google android 11 gem #6: Smarter voice control

We’ve talked before about how exactly Android’s Voice Access program is incredibly useful, even though you don’t require it for accessibility reasons — sufficient reason for Android 11, the feature gets a lot more practical and powerful even.

With past Android variations, you could utilize Voice Access for simple app-opening and on-screen routing. You could utilize it so you can get around apps, as well, but just by saying the quantity it’d put on the screen close to selectable products — effective, certain, but not the easiest or most intuitive program.
Google Apps Android - Tone of voice AccessJR
Well, with Android 11 set up, it is possible to simply say the title of any command on the display to have Voice Gain access to activate it — simply no true amount referencing or complex-command-remembering necessary.

That’s certainly invaluable from an accessibility viewpoint, but it’s also only a quick and convenient method for anyone to do virtually anything on a telephone in a hands-free way. To experience it, you should install the Voice Entry app and follow the methods it gives one to activate it.

Google android 11 gem #7: Darkish mode scheduling

This next one’s technically been on Pixel phones for a time now, thanks to a youthful Google “feature drop,” nonetheless it seems to be linked to Android 11 aswell (and even for those who have a Pixel phone, there is a decent chance you’d no idea it had been there, &mdash anyway; three cheers for hidden Pixel features!).

It’s something super-basic but super-effective: the opportunity to plan your system-wide dark setting so that it continues on and off automatically on times. That way, you might have your entire mobile phone work with a darker, easier-on-the-eye motif from sundown to sunset — or in one specific period until another specific period (10 p.m. to 7 a.m., maybe, if you lead as crazy of a life when i do).

To find it, skip in to the Display section of one’s body settings merrily, choose the Dark Theme choice, then tap the series labeled “Schedule” and choose whatever arrangement you prefer.

Google android 11 gem #8: Resizable picture-in-picture video home windows

Support for picture-in-picture movie is another underappreciated Google android feature yet, sufficient reason for Android 11, this gets a good extremely hard-to-find but convenient new contact: When something is actively playing in a little floating container on your own screen, Android 11 enables you to resize the package to create it larger or even smaller.

The feature is honestly sort of challenging to utilize in its current form, but it’s really worth figuring out. Get something right into a picture-in-picture container &mdash just; by beginning a YouTube movie and returning to your house screen or switching to some other app then, for instance, or by starting the Maps routing and doing a similar thing &mdash then; and then contact your finger to the box’s lower-still left or lower-right part and drag it upward or down diagonally.

It might take you several tries to get the precise right spot, but you do once, you can make the package whatever dimension your precious little center desires for a lot more effective mobile multitasking.

Google android 11 gem #9: The streamlined media gamer

Lastly, one of Google android 11’s highest user profile but hardest to get front-facing features: Android 11 replaces the notification-based media gamers of days gone by — where you’d obtain an individual manage panel as a notification for each app where you start playing sound or movie — with a streamlined “carousel” that lifestyles in your Quick Configurations area and serves every media players within a spot.

That it is quite clever: Rather than having all of the different players within your notifications, you’ve got a single player for the reason that one consistent location just. So when you’ve had several apps actively playing audio or video, it is possible to swipe left or directly on the player to go from one group of controls to another.
Android 11: Media ParticipantJR
There is a catch, though: As of this moment, the feature is deactivated and invisible automagically completely. And you need to move out of the right path to change that.

Here’s how:

    • Enable Android’s developer configurations by opening the Regarding Phone section of one’s body settings, scrolling right down to the “Create number” line at the base, and tapping that line 7 times. The telephone will confirm that you need to enable the configurations and can probably make you devote your PIN or design, too.

out to the primary settings menu

  • Back again, then go in to the System area and tap “Advanced.”
  • Tap the collection labeled “Developer choices” toward underneath of the display screen.
  • Scroll lower ’til you start to see the Media area to check out the line labeled “Mass media resumption.”
  • Activate the toggle close to that, adhere to the prompts in order to restart your cell phone then.

And that is it: Anytime you enjoy media from any app continue, you should start to see the nifty brand new carousel participant in the Fast Settings area. (Simply don’t fool around with the other developer configurations unless you know very well what you’re doing!)

Some interesting stuff, eh? And we’re only barely getting started.

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