Google has silently rolled out the Android 11 beta. While some changes are subtle yet smarter, others might come across as confusing and novelty for the sake of novelty. It also carries over features we have witnessed in the developer previews.
So, let’s have a glance at the top highlights of Android 11 beta.
Android 11 Beta: What’s new?
1. The notification shade is now clearly divided into three sections viz Conversations (a dedicated persistent space at the top for messages from various installed chat apps), Alerting Notifications, and Silent Notifications.
2. Bubbles is a feature that was first introed in Android 10 (review), but as it seems, it is finally here in the new version. It is inspired and works just like Facebook Chat Heads.
3. Google now offers an easily accessible Notification History tab in the system settings. So, now you can go back to missed notifications from the past 24 hours.
4. Media Controls carousel in Quick Settings. Users would also be able to resume the playback – after the session gets closed/canceled or even after a device reboot.
5. There’s a new button, which lets you choose the medium for audio output. In other words, pick between Bluetooth headphones or smart speakers.
6. The app switcher now includes a Screenshot, Select and Share options under the recent apps. There is an option for scrolling screenshots too.
7. Hopefully, the native screen recorder makes the cut this time around. Last year, Google ditched it in the official release.
8. Android 11 Beta shows us the new super Power Menu, which lets you manage smart home device controls as well as bank/payment providers from a single screen.
9. You can now prioritize notifications from your favorite contacts/conversations to appear up top and bypass the DND restriction.
10. Android 11 gives you better control at tweaking Permissions. For instance, a settings element called Permissions reset will automatically clear all permissions from apps that you haven’t used in a while. Now, you can also grant “only this time” location/other permission access to apps.
11. Amongst other things, you could also expect things like Fast Share file-sharing over WiFi, resize picture-in-picture mode, pin apps to share menu, Airplane mode won’t disable Bluetooth, better Dark Mode scheduling, smart Voice Access navigation, etc.
The Android 11 Beta is currently available on Google’s own Pixel phones (Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4) and a few other phones. If you’re a developer or a lighthouse user, you may try it out. Else, for a normal user, a little more patience is advised.