New Android 11: Top 10 features that you need to try on your cell phone

Android Oct 13, 2020
The Best New Tricks to try out NEW Android Phone Features.
(Image credit: Google)

Most Android users are walking around with smartphones rocking Android 10 or lower, but not you. No sir.

Instead, you’re one among the lucky ones with a handset that goes all the high to 11 - and just some of the simplest Android phones allow that. That’s one louder than Android 10, consistent with our scribbled calculations, which suggests you’ll have a plethora of latest features at your disposal.

We’re getting to take a glance at a number of these fancy new features below, so you'll ensure you’re making the foremost of Google’s latest and greatest mobile OS. If you’re not currently using an Android 11 smartphone but simply want to satiate your curiosity, that’s okay too.

From souped-up messaging to hidden Easter eggs, screen recording and more, there’s tons to get , so let’s jump straight in.

  1. A touch more conversation

Our phones can become a convoluted mess of notifications starting from direct messages, WhatsApp group updates, game notifications, breaking news and far , much more.

It’s easy to miss important messages among this barrage of data , which is that the reason the new conversations tab in Android 11 is an absolute godsend for bringing some much needed organisation into your life.

Swiping down from the highest in Android 11 now splits info into two groups: notifications and conversations. the previous are general notifications from apps, while the latter are made from all notifications from chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter, allowing you to prioritize them.

2. A touch less conversation

(Image credit: Google)

While its nice to stay in-tuned , we all have a minimum of a couple of WhatsApp groups with keyboard-happy members that don’t quite know when to place their phones right down to embrace some much-needed silence. Thankfully, Android 11 allows you to prioritize important messages while silencing smaller ones – think pixelated Facebook memes sent from your mum, for instance .

Long-pressing a conversation within the dropdown will present three options: Priority, Alerting and Silent.

Priority conversations will always appear at the highest , featuring a yellow highlight around their icon. you'll also choose priority conversations to ignore the don't Disturb rule, which is handy if you’re expecting a crucial message.

Alerting treats notifications within the normal way, while Silent will keep particular threads from alerting your phone in the least . They’ll still appear in your notifications, mind, but at rock bottom of the list. Making use of all three options should help remove the headache related to chatty WhatsApp groups, while still bringing important messages to your attention.

3. Blowing bubbles
While we’re on the topic of conversations, Android 11 also has built-in support for chat bubbles – a feature which will be familiar to Facebook Messenger users.

(Image credit: Google)

When you receive a replacement message, swipe down from the highest , and check your chat notification. If the app supports bubbles, there'll be alittle circle within the bottom-right corner of the notification. Tap it, and you’ll create a talk bubble – a floating circular icon that stays on top of anything you’re doing on the screen.

New messages will appear from the bubble without taking over your whole screen; tapping the message allows you to reply. It’s particularly useful if you would like to stay a conversation whilst continuing with another task or watching a video. To dismiss a bubble, simply hold it down and drag it to the ‘X’ that appears at rock bottom of the screen.

4. Screen recording is (finally) here
Built-in screen-recording functionality are some things we’ve been waiting to ascertain baked into Android for years, and while it’s been available in handsets like OnePlus for a short time , we’re happy to ascertain it finally included as standard during this latest version of Android.

Simply pull down from the highest to expand the notification bar’s quick settings, and tap the Screen Record icon. once you do, you’ll have the choice to settle on whether you would like to record audio using the microphone or the device’s audio. Once that’s done, a three-second timer will appear, initially is recorded.

While our main use case are going to be recording tech tutorials, it are often handy for people looking to point out parents the way to navigate through Android’s complicated settings, or for those eager to record gameplay during a very hectic gaming session.

5. A second chance
We’ve all had the experience of swiping away at a notification the second it pops up. Sometimes, it's out of sheer instinct, honed by your primal, panther-like reflexes. At other times it'd be as a results of spotting an email containing words like ‘overdue’ or ‘Christmas plans’, which you swipe away in sheer panic.

Unfortunately, though, these mis-swipes can prove a pain, especially if you believe notifications as a sort of to-do list. Thankfully, Android 11 includes an option that permits you to quickly mention your notification history. Tap the History button at rock bottom of the notification shade, and you’ll be treated to all or any your notifications from the past 24 hours, so you'll easily see what you’ve missed.

6. Embrace the darkness
We’re huge fans of dark themes in apps, since they have a tendency to be less harsh on the eyes, and may even help squeeze out a touch extra battery life if you’re employing a phone with an OLED display.

If you discover yourself constantly swapping between dark and lightweight themes, however, then Android 11 will make your life just that tiny bit easier by offering up the power to automatically schedule dark themes.

You can prefer to embrace the darkness from sunset to sunrise, sparing your eyes from exposure to harsh blue lights within the evening, or choose a time of your choosing. Simply pull down the fast Settings menu from the highest of the screen, hit the Dark theme icon, and choose the scheduling option of your choice.

7. Pin ‘n’ Share
One of the items we’ve always loved most about Android (yes, we've a list), is its robust sharing features, which were around long before iPhone users were treated to similar abilities.

The only downside is that selecting what app you would like to share are often a messy process. If you've got many apps, you would possibly find yourself scrolling through a couple of pages of options before selecting the one you would like to share to.

Android 11 makes this process easier by allowing you to pin your favorite/most-used sharing apps to the front of the pack, saving you precious seconds whenever you share something. Simple, yet incredibly effective.

8. Revamped media controls

Android 11 arrives with improved media controls that are less intrusive than before. For starters, they now appear within the Quick Settings bar within the sort of a mini-control setup that has the name of what’s playing, along side basic play/pause, previous and next track options.

(Image credit: Google)

The new positioning is great, since it makes the world below less cluttered, leaving more room for your notifications. bear down further, and therefore the media controls expand to the highest of the screen, providing more options – like the power to ‘like’ a track.

If you've got a podcast app, YouTube, and/or a music app like Spotify open, you'll also swipe across for individual controls for every app, which is superb news for auditory multitaskers.

9. App suggestions (Pixel only)
Pixel owners have a chance to brag here, since this feature is currently only compatible with Google’s Pixel phones.

Android 11(Image credit: Google)

If you’re currently wielding a Pixel device with Android 11, you'll let Google’s AI smarts predict which app you’re likely to use next, supported past usage at different times of the day. for instance , if you tend to awaken your brain with a cup of coffee and cat GIFs every morning, then you’ll find the Reddit app included within the dock.

Later on within the day, around lunch time, it'd get replaced by the Twitter icon, because that’s when you’re likely to travel off on a post-lunch rant about the state of the in-game economy in Destiny 2 (or whatever your routine happens to be).

You also have the choice to get rid of certain apps from the choice pool or close up the feature entirely, but it’s definitely worth trying out if you've got a Pixel in your pocket.

10. Power button 2.0

Android 11(Image credit: Google)

Android 11 supercharges your Power button, allowing it to try to to quite simply close up or restart your phone. Holding it down now launches a replacement screen, which adds extra options beyond the straightforward power ones.

These include a shortcut to using Google Pay, making it even easier to quickly buy lockdown lunch sandwiches from your local supermarket of choice. Beneath that, Android 11 also will pre-populate a replacement Home section with up to 6 of your connected smart devices, letting you quickly and simply control your lights, thermostat and more, in a moment . Of course, you'll edit this list together with your most-used devices, if you so wish.

Overall, this is often one among our favourite additions to Android 11, since it allows you to access useful features without having to fireside up separate apps. Nicely done, Google.

11. Befriend a cat
Android has long been famous for its built-in Easter eggs, and version 11 is not any exception. Follow the steps below, and you’ll soon be the proud companion to a number of virtual feline friends.

Fire up Settings, then attend ‘About Phone’
Tap ‘Android Version’
On this screen, repeatedly hit ‘Android Version’
Crank up the quantity dial that appears all the thanks to 11
After three attempts, you ought to see the amount 11 crop up , with alittle cat emoji appearing at rock bottom of the screen
Hold the facility button
Select ‘Add controls’
Choose ‘See other apps’ at rock bottom
Choose ‘Cat controls’
Select the water bubbler, food and toy
Return to the facility menu screen
Select the down arrow next to ‘Home’ and choose ‘Cat controls’
Swipe across the water bubble to fill it up, tap the food bowl, and tap the cat
Question what you’re doing together with your life while expecting a virtual numbered cat to be added to your collection
These are the absolute best Android phones you'll buy immediately
Receive notifications from TechRadar?