Android users wielding certain models are rejoicing today as Google has officially released Android 11. Those with a Pixel handset belonging to the Pixel 2 line or newer will receive the latest Android build starting today while specific models made by OnePlus, Oppo, and Xiaomi will also receive the update. To see if the update has arrived on your Pixel, go to Settings > System > Advanced > System update. The update weighs in at 9.47MB for the Pixel 2 XL.
Android 11 is released a little over one year after the launch of Android 10.
Among the new features coming in Android 11 is native screen recording. This will allow users to record what is taking place on the screen with sound recorded from the device or a microphone. Media apps will no longer appear on a notification when opened. In Android 11, they show up in Quick Settings where users will be able to switch the source device used to hear audio. Android 11 will also allow users to grant apps one-time permission to access the microphones, the cameras, and the location off the phone. For privacy reasons, this will force several apps to ask for permission each time it is opened.
The final version of Android 11 is ready to be installed on certain Android phones
Android 11 also brings some improvement to the Pixel Launcher as app suggestions show up in the dock, and a new method for taking screenshots becomes available. The power menu in Android 11 is revised and includes quick controls for smart home devices that will allow users to change the temperature, adjust lights, and more. We would be remiss if we didn't mention the Bubbles feature available in Android 11.
Similar to Facebook's Chat Heads, a Bubble will float above the screen to help the user continue a message or a chat even while using another app at the same time. For example, a user can be checking out his portfolio on CNBC.com and continue texting his girlfriend without taking his eyes off of the ticker. Tapping on the bubble will open up the messaging UI allowing the user to keep the conservation going without having to switch back and forth between CNBC and the messaging app. Android 11 also changes how notifications appear on the screen. A header titled Conversations is on top and other notifications, such as alerts, will have their own section.
There are some features that will be available for compatible Pixel models only including an AR-based location sharing feature that makes it easier to meet with friends, and a version of Smart Reply that will be found in the Gboard QWERTY keyboard.
Besides the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Android 11 will also be available today for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro in North America, Europe and India.
Dave Burke, Android's vice president of engineering, shared a tweet today that shows the traditional statue made for the new version of Android. However, because many Googlers are working from home, the statue was unveiled in AR. Go to this link on your smartphone and you will see the Android 11 statue in your space. On the back is a list of all of the new features on Android 11 along with the ingredients list and recipe for making a red velvet cake. While Google no longer uses dessert names to differentiate versions of its mobile open source operating system, internally Android 11 was known as red velvet cake.