Android, the OS that runs the variety of device brands in the market such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, OnePlus and many others has launched its latest version, Android 11.
The latest version does not have a lot of changes save for some minor adjustments on the interface containing a number of features to improve the user experience.
Android software updates typically roll out slowly meaning only a few phones will initially be able to download it. A few OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme models can get the update and Android One devices, like most of the Nokia-branded phones.
Before running a software update on your device, ensure that you back up your phone. To do this, go to Settings>>System>>Back up>>Back up now. Check if you can update by going to settings>>System and then Advanced > System Update. It will automatically start searching for the update or you can click on Check for update to do it manually. If nothing appears, then it means you will still have to wait a few days.
Below are some of the new features you can expect
- A new power menu- If you long press the power button, you will no longer get just the options to restart, turn off or lock your phone. Additional options include quick access to your debit/credit card. If you have any smart controls such as access to TV, lights, fridge etc, you can also find them here.
- A redesigned media player- When playing music, the controls are integrated into a quick settings menu. It gives a neater outlook and is available on players such as YouTube, Google Play.
- Bubbles- These already appear when you get messages on Facebook Messenger whereby the message floats around on your screen till you read it. With the latest Android version, more apps will be able to bubble-ify their messages and you can group your bubbles with specific apps and set specific conversations in the apps as bubbles for easier access.
- Better Notifications- Your notifications will be grouped in Android 11. For Instance, message notifications can be found under “conversations”. You can then customize your notifications to silent, default or Priority depending on how you want to receive them.
- Recording your screen- Android 11 will let you record your phone screen without requiring a third-party app. If you want to record a ‘live’ on Instagram or instructions to use a feature, you can start recording by swiping down the notifications header and accessing the Screen Record quick settings.
- Limited Permissions- More apps will now require to ask for your permission to access certain information such as location, camera, microphone and others. In most cases, these components are necessary for the apps to work. However, with Android 11, you can choose to give limited permission such as only when the app is open. The app will be forced to ask for permission every time you launch it. Apps that are installed but never used get their permissions revoked after a few months.
- Access your notification history- Even if you swipe a notification accidentally, you can still go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Notification history where you can access all the notifications and alerts received within the last 24 hours.
- Pin apps in the share menu- When you want to share something, most files will launch a different share menu. With Android 11, you can pin your favourite apps to the top where you tend to share most of your files for easy access.
- Improved Voice Access- Android 11 better understands the content on your screen and the context making it easier to access what you need. Simply say the name of the app you wish to access or the action you want completed, and your phone will understand you better.
- Apps suggestions- Android 11 will give you smart suggestions on the apps you can open next. Based on what you are currently working on or most accessed apps, the suggested apps will be displayed on the top row of the app drawer.
Apart from the above, the latest Android version also allows you to customize the sensitivity of the right or left swipe. The update also comes with 117 new emojis with 55 new skin tones and a couple of fresh designs.