The newest, and the freshest Android OS version, Android 11 just started rolling out to Google Pixel devices. For the first time, there are a few other devices which got the update on day one, including the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. Android has now matured to the point that the major version updates do not bring vast UI overhauls but instead fix the already existing functionalities and optimize them for better usability. But, this year Android comes with a set of new features that might change the way you use your smartphone.
Here are three of the new features that are coming with Android 11.
Conversations and Chat Bubbles
It's easy to miss the most important conversations in the midst of the plethora of notifications that we get on our devices. That's why Google has decided to put all the notifications from chat apps into a section right at the top of your notification panel, called Conversations. They have also added a plethora of options such as setting priority notifications, let some messages notify you even if you have Do Not Disturb turned on and so on. Now you can have your chat notifications customized to however you wish.
The second great feature your conversations get is called Bubbles. Think of it as Facebook Chat Heads, but done on a system level, and across all of your chat apps. Now you can have two bubbles where you're having one conversation with someone on Messenger and the other with someone on WhatsApp. It has never been easier to chat with people across different applications. And when you're done talking, you just have to toss the bubble away.
New Power Menu
The power menu has been revamped, after years. You of course still have your typical power menu options. But, below that Google has added two new sections. The first section carries Google Pay and the second section carries your smart home controls. These might not be very useful worldwide as of now, given that Google Pay is available in a select few countries, and most people don't have full-fledged smart homes yet. But, it's an indication of what direction Google wants its tech to evolve into.
New Music Controls
Media controls on Android have always acted like just another notification, taking up space on your notification panel. Google has now moved the music controls way up into the quick settings panel. They do not stack up your notification panel anymore, but you can still swipe left or right on them to switch between all the controls of the media apps that you have open. Also, you can switch the output device of a specific media app, much more easily now.