Google has released the Android 11 beta for Pixel phones. Android 11 beta features are a revamped notification system, a new power menu, and many more.
One of the major changes is that Google has customized notifications. Now it has been divided into 3 distinct sections: conversations, alerting notifications, and silent notifications.
Conversations are the newest section dedicated to notifications that come in from chat apps like Android Messages, Facebook Messenger, and others. It is at the top of your all notification below the quick settings. Apps need to be updated to support this feature.
You can also tap a button to “bubble” them that pops out the sender’s avatar you’re talking to into a floating bubble that you can throw on any edge of the screen and can float over other apps. Tap it to open up the chat thread. It’s basically the Facebook Messenger Chat Heads feature but now it is available to any chat app in Android 11 Beta Features.
There is also another option i.e. by a Long-press a notification in the conversations section will allow you to choose between three options: Priority, Alerting, and Silent.
- Priority: Messages received from a sender can be marked as a “priority” which puts the sender’s avatar on your lock screen instead of just showing the icon of the app and optionally allows you to let them break through your Do Not Disturb settings. It also appears at the top of your all notification below the quick settings.
- Alerting: It works just like before.
- Silent: By selecting the silent option, it will stop the messages from alerting your phone, but they will appear in the notifications just at the bottom of all other notifications.
MEDIA CONTROLS AND SCREENSHOTS
Media controls will be at the top of your notifications when music or video is playing, but in Android 11, these controls are getting integrated into the Quick Settings area that is above your notifications.
It shows up in two different ways. First, when it’s collapsed down, it pushes other quick settings toggles off to the side. And while expanding it down you’ll get full album art, a scrub bar, and whatever else the music app wants to show. You will also get a new button, which lets you choose where your audio is going. It should let you send to your Bluetooth headphones or compatible smart speakers.
Another thing that Google pulled out of notifications is the interface for screenshots. Now, when you take a screenshot, a tiny thumbnail will float down to the lower-left corner. There will be some button attached to it if you want to quickly edit or share the screenshot. It would also get a third button for scrolling screenshots.
Native screen recording may become official in Android 11 beta features. It’s been an add-on feature on many Samsung, Huawei, and other phones for years.
In Android 11, Google is creating a new “zone” of user interaction with the power menu. You get it by long-pressing the power button.
The new section is Home. It’s where Google is putting buttons for your smart home controls. You can choose which smart home gadgets appear here and also control them. With smart lights, you can tap buttons to toggle them on or off, drag on the button to adjust brightness, or long-press to get a bigger UI with more options.
Android 11 Beta’s power menu home controls are powered by the Google Home app. That’s great news because it means that you don’t have to set up your smart home gadgets a second or third time.
HOME AND MULTITASKING
You have the option to replace your home screen with your own apps that you might want to open next.
Google addresses the multitasking screen as the recents screen. In Android 11 Beta, there are a few new buttons on the bottom such as Screenshot on the left corner that grabs a screenshot of the frontmost app, Share on the left corner that takes the screenshot to immediately send it to someone. And Select in the middle that highlights selectable elements on the frontmost app so you can easily copy something without going all the way into the app.
The new feature is permission reset, which automatically resets all permissions from apps you haven’t opened in some time.
Android 11 Beta also has one-time permission. When an app asks for location information, the only three options that get buttons are “while using the app,” “only this time,” and “deny.” The one-time-use option is new and much-appreciated. If an app wants to get permanent background permission, it has to deep-link you into its location permissions inside Android’s settings.
Android 11 now has an on-device visual cortex that understands screen content and context and generates labels and access points for accessibility commands. What that means is that if you’re controlling the phone with your voice, you can speak more naturally by just saying what’s on-screen instead of having to identify a number on a grid.
If you have got the Android 11 Beta installed on your Pixel phones, share your opinion below in the comment section.