A brand new Android model is intriguing, thrilling, and — let’s be sincere — typically slightly perplexing. Particularly these days, it is all too frequent to see a shiny new replace present up in your cellphone, eagerly look to see what recent treats are in retailer, after which end up scratching your head as you wrestle to see what’s completely different and the way try to be profiting from no matter was delivered to your system.
There is not any denying it: Android’s evolution has grown considerably extra refined through the years. Whereas early Android updates represented large leaps ahead and near-constant reinventions of the working system, extra trendy Android rollouts are likely to revolve principally round refinement and small however important touches. It is a wise shift at this level within the platform’s growth, however it usually makes it powerful to know in case you’re tapping into every part Google’s newest software program supplies.
And Android 11 is definitely no exception. The most recent Android launch is chock-full of essential additions, however lots of them are underneath the hood and never instantly apparent. And even those which are on the floor require a teensy little bit of tweaking to be delivered to their full potential.
Whether or not you simply received Android 11 just lately or have had it since its formal launch final September, the tips on this web page will allow you to unlock all the software program’s sensible worth. The magic’s already all there and ready; it is simply as much as you to hunt it out and embrace it.
In case you’re among the many many non-Google-phone homeowners nonetheless ready for the software program to achieve you, cling onto this information for the long run — and take a look at my separate story on bringing Android-11-like options onto any cellphone at this time for some intelligent methods to present your self comparable components within the meantime.
(Be aware that the options and steps described under are all related to Google’s authentic Android 11 software program, which is current on Pixel telephones, Android One units, and sure different merchandise. Some Android phone-makers modify the working system and even often omit options for no obvious purpose — so in case you’re utilizing a tool that does not stick to Google’s default Android association, among the components talked about right here could also be completely different or in a couple of instances completely absent in your cellphone.)
1. Probably the most consequential addition in Android 11, particularly from a enterprise perspective, is the elevated set of instruments the software program offers you for privateness safety — so do not let that go to waste!
The primary and most essential factor you will wish to benefit from is the software program’s extra nuanced controls for digicam, location, and microphone permissions. As of Android 11, you may grant apps entry to these areas on a restricted, single-session foundation — which means the permissions will expire and need to be requested anew as quickly as you exit the app and transfer on to one thing else.
However, critically, any apps that have been in your cellphone earlier than the Android 11 improve will have already got everlasting permissions granted — so it is as much as you to return and reassess ’em as wanted.
To take action, open up the Privateness part of your system settings and faucet “Permission supervisor.” One after the other, look by way of the classes for “Digital camera,” “Location,” and “Microphone.” In case you see any accredited permissions that you simply’d reasonably have dealt with on a case-by-case foundation, faucet the related app’s line after which change its setting to “Ask each time.”
With any apps you put in from this level ahead, the immediate to make that call will come up robotically the primary time the app requests one of many related permissions — so it is solely with current apps that it’s essential carry out this one-time evaluation.
2. The opposite Android 11 privateness function that requires your motion is the software program’s potential to robotically revoke delicate permissions from apps that you have not opened or in any other case utilized in a matter of months. Oddly, that functionality is not all the time on by default — so head into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, faucet the road to see all your apps, if wanted, after which faucet the identify of any app the place you need that conduct to happen.
Subsequent, you will wish to faucet “Permissions” and look for a line labeled “Take away permissions if app is not used.” Activate the toggle subsequent to it, after which relaxation simple understanding that the doorways to your delicate information will robotically shut if the app in query ever will get forgotten.
3. Notifications get a pleasant improve with a brand new devoted “Conversations” part in Android 11, and you may take management of how precisely it really works. Anytime you obtain a message inside an app that helps the function, simply press and maintain the notification to disclose a brand new choice that’ll set it as a precedence dialog — which causes its notification to look on the prime of the “Conversations” part, with the sender’s profile picture as its personal standalone icon in your standing bar space, and optionally even with an expandable bubble you should use to maintain the dialog available it doesn’t matter what else you are doing.
4. You possibly can really flip any appropriate messaging thread right into a bubble, too, no matter whether or not it is set as a priority-level dialog. Simply look within the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings and discover the brand new “Conversations” choice, then faucet the road comparable to the dialog you wish to deliver into the bubble interface.
That’ll pull up a settings display on which you’ll be able to choose to have the dialog all the time seem inside that persistent bubble, no matter its standing.
5. That very same conversation-specific settings display holds an alternative choice price remembering: the choice to tug a selected messaging thread out of the “Conversations” part altogether in order that it seems as an everyday, much less emphasised notification.
6. Ever end up wishing you could possibly deliver again a notification you inadvertently swiped away? Android 11 has the answer with its new Notification Historical past function. Ensure that to allow it by going into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, then tapping “Notifications” adopted by “Notification historical past.” Flip the toggle on the prime of the display into the on place, and at any time when you’ve got a minimum of one notification current, you will see a brand new “Historical past” choice that’ll take you to a listing of all dismissed alerts from the previous 24 hours.
Shortcuts and time-savers
7. Android 11’s most sensible new function, in case you ask me, is the connected-device command heart it brings into the system energy menu — the display that comes up if you press and maintain your cellphone’s bodily energy button. Some device-makers, sadly, determined to tug this function out of the working system earlier than sending it to their prospects (hello, Samsung!), however it’s indisputably a shining spotlight of the newest Android software program.
As long as you are utilizing a cellphone the place that factor hasn’t been eliminated, press and maintain that newly empowered energy button for a second or so, and you may see your new greatest buddy pop proper up in entrance of you — full with controls for any good lights, cameras, thermostats, or different such merchandise which are arrange in your surroundings and related to your Google account.
8. You’d by no means understand it from trying, however the tiles inside that new energy button menu can do extra than simply act as mere on-off toggles. For any tiles the place extra choices can be found, you may as well long-press to tug up advanced prospects in a easy overlay display.
9. As useful as it may be, that connected-device command heart may also get slightly cluttered. If, like me, you discover the on-by-default presence of gigantic photographs exhibiting your Google-Pay-connected bank cards in that space to be of little sensible worth, head into the System space of your system settings, faucet “Gestures,” after which faucet “Energy menu” adopted by “Playing cards & passes.” (In case your cellphone’s menu construction would not match that, attempt looking your system settings for energy menu to get to a comparable place.)
Flip the toggle on the display that comes up into the off place, and that Pay-related factor of the facility menu will likely be gone for good.
10. Along with eliminating pointless components from Android 11’s energy menu, you may add in new connected-device controls and alter the order of the present controls to place your most often accessed objects into particularly easy-to-reach locations. Faucet the three-dot menu icon inside the energy menu after which choose both “Add controls” or “Edit controls” to benefit from both chance.
11. You do not have to cease with related units, both. With a couple of minutes of advanced configuration, you may add virtually something into the Android 11 energy menu — an always-accessible shortcut to launch Android’s split-screen operate, a easy on-screen button for capturing a screenshot of any app, or perhaps a one-tap command for composing a selected prewritten “thanks” e mail or textual content message to comply with a gathering, for a couple of fascinating examples.
All you want is a robust Android app referred to as Tasker and about 5 minutes of artful configuration to make it occur — and whereas the preliminary setup course of is a teensy bit difficult, I’ve received an easy-to-follow information that’ll take you thru it step-by-step.
12. One other simply missed Android 11 goodie is the software program’s addition — or re-addition, to be extra correct — of the power to pin objects to the highest of the system share menu and preserve your mostly used targets on the prime.
The share menu, in case the identify would not instantly ring a bell, is the factor that comes up if you share one thing from one app to a different — like if you spotlight textual content in an e mail after which faucet “Share.” Some Android apps now use their very own customized menu for that operate, reasonably vexingly, however everytime you’re seeing the usual system share menu, you may take management of it by urgent and holding any common icon inside its listing after which choosing the “Pin” choice that pops up.
That’ll trigger the app’s icon to stay in a particular prime row inside that menu, above some other objects.
You possibly can pin as much as 4 share targets there, they usually’ll all the time seem in that spot in alphabetical order.
Advanced audio, video, and visible choices
13. Whereas some Android device-makers have added display recording methods into their software program for ages now, Android 11 marks the primary time such a operate has been constructed into the precise core working system. In case you’re utilizing a cellphone with Google’s model of Android, you may reveal the brand new system-level Display screen Recorder by swiping down twice from the highest of your display to open the Fast Settings panel, then tapping the small pencil icon in its lower-left nook to edit its contents.
Scroll down till you see an icon labeled “Display screen Report,” probably towards the underside of the listing. Press and maintain it after which drag it up right into a place inside the panel’s energetic space.
Again out of that modifying device and look again at your Fast Settings menu to seek out and use your newly uncovered device.
14. You’d in all probability by no means consider it, however along with supplying you with a simple technique to file demo movies and carry out troubleshooting in your cellphone, Android’s Display screen Recorder can allow you to file an ongoing name — whether or not it is a common cellphone name or one revamped a community (with or with out video) by way of an app. Simply activate that very same Display screen Report operate when a name is underway, then faucet the “Report audio” line and alter the setting from “Microphone” to “System audio and microphone.”
Simply be certain you are conscious of any legal guidelines surrounding that course of in your space earlier than you start. Some states require just one particular person to comply with any recordings being made throughout a name, whereas others require everybody on a name to present consent. Insurance policies fluctuate internationally as properly.
15. One in all Android’s greatest hidden options is its potential to pop an actively enjoying video or perhaps a Google Maps navigation right into a small floating window if you transfer away from the related app. As of Android 11, that function will get much more helpful with the fully invisible potential to resize the window of any such picture-in-picture field.
Upon getting one in place, simply drag your finger in or out diagonally on any of its corners to make it larger or smaller. Who knew?!
16. Talking of media, Android 11 introduces an clever new consolidated media participant that places controls for any audio or video enjoying out of your cellphone right into a single, streamlined house above your notification panel — as a substitute of getting every app create its personal unbiased set of controls that exists as a notification. Generally, although, that new participant sticks round properly previous its welcome, lengthy after you’ve got completed interacting with the content material.
Nicely, take word: You possibly can press and maintain the participant to discover a tucked-away choice to dismiss it and ship it a-packin’. When you have a number of gamers going without delay, you may swipe to the proper or left on the participant interface to maneuver between ’em after which long-press on the participant whereas any supply is exhibiting to dismiss it.
17. In case you discover the Android 11 media participant begins sticking round too lengthy as a common rule, attempt looking your cellphone’s settings for media. Except your system’s producer has eliminated the choice, you need to discover a setting referred to as “Media participant in Fast Settings” (or one thing alongside these traces). Pull it up and transfer the toggle related to it to the off place. That’ll inform Android that you simply do not need it to maintain the participant round “for an prolonged interval” even after you’ve got completed listening.
18. Final however not least, in case you often end up gazing your cellphone in dim lighting, do your self a favor and benefit from Android 11’s new Darkish Theme scheduling functionality. Look within the Show part of your system settings to seek out the “Darkish Theme” choice, then faucet its line — the precise textual content, not the toggle subsequent to it — and you may see the newly added “Schedule” function. You possibly can set the Darkish Theme to return on and off robotically at sundown and dawn, respectively, or you may create your personal schedule in case you’d reasonably keep a distinct set of nighttime hours.
The opposite choice, in fact, is to show your flippin’ cellphone off and go to mattress already — however that, as everyone knows, is usually simpler stated than accomplished.
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