How to make use of our most sensible 5 favourite Android 11 options – CNET


Android 11 has a host of candies. 

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It’s been awhile since Google introduced the Android 11 public beta, permitting Google Pixel customers to assist take a look at and get an early preview of the adjustments which can be incorporated. There are various under-the-hood options for builders and courageous customers alike, however there is so a lot more to Android 11 than that. 

You’ll desire a suitable telephone and a few endurance to handle random insects, however you’ll set up the Android 11 beta presently if you do not need to stay up for its complete liberate.

I’ve been the usage of Android 11 on a Pixel 4 XL and feature discovered a number of options that may trade the way in which I take advantage of Android — for the simpler. The fast controls web page is within the operating for my favourite addition, adopted by means of the made over media controls. The new Bubbles function, alternatively, will take some being used to.

The five options I define beneath are not the whole lot that is incorporated in Android 11. Google is nearly assured to have extra surprises in retailer for us. Meanwhile, get familiar with those Android 11 options now, so what is coming in your telephone later this 12 months. 

Android 11 Quick Controls are a real spotlight

The very first thing you will have to do after putting in Android 11, whether or not it is the beta or when it is formally launched, is long-press the facility button in your telephone to deliver up the brand new fast controls display. On the Pixel, no less than, this display will provide you with energy regulate choices alongside the highest, supplies shortcuts in your Google Pay playing cards and boarding passes, after which beneath that you can to find my favourite function of Android 11 — fast controls for good house units. 


Android 11’s fast controls are my new favourite controls. 

Screenshots by means of Jason Cipriani/CNET

My telephone mechanically picked a couple of units I’ve related to Google Assistant, just like the Nest thermostat in my workplace and my Nest video doorbell. I will even view a livestream from my doorbell without delay in this display, with no need to open the Nest app (which is sluggish and a ache to make use of). It’s nice. 

You can upload or take away good house units from this grid by means of tapping at the menu button and deciding on upload or edit controls. 

Messaging Bubbles on your pals seem like they will be helpful 

Remember Bubbles? This function used to be meant to be a part of Android 10, however Google pulled it on the final minute. Well, they are again. 

Bubbles are very similar to Facebook Messengers “chat heads” function. When activated, a small avatar — or Bubble — in your display this is visual it doesn’t matter what app you are the usage of. Tap at the avatar and it’ll open a small window so that you can learn and ship new messages in that thread, with out totally opening the app. You can drag the Bubble round your display, or drag it to the ground of the display to delete it. 

Google up to date the Messages app to paintings with Bubbles in a while after the general public beta introduced. You may need to choose in to the Messages beta program to get the replace.


Bubbles are handy, however will take some adjusting. 

Screenshot by means of Jason Cipriani/CNET

In order to make use of Bubbles for a dialog, faucet at the small Bubbles icon within the bottom-right nook of the notification. Tapping on it’ll in an instant allow Bubbles for that thread.

Another technique to turn on Bubbles for explicit conversations is to long-press on its notification and mark it as a concern. Doing so won’t most effective activate Bubbles for that thread, however it’ll additionally permit that dialog to damage via Do Not Disturb making sure you do not leave out any messages. 

You can then drag the icons on your quite a lot of Bubbles chats round in your display, or faucet at the avatar for the individual you need to speak to, and the thread will open up all with out ever leaving the app you are lately the usage of. I’m satisfied that is an opt-in function, in response to every thread, as a substitute of an all or not anything function like Chat Heads. It’s messy and downright overwhelming. 

To do away with a bubble for a selected dialog, simply drag the icon to the small X that presentations up on the backside of your display.

App Suggestions exchange your app dock

Immediately after putting in the general public beta and unlocking my Pixel 4 XL, I used to be greeted with an strategy to allow app ideas at the house display. Unsure of what precisely that used to be, I reluctantly agreed. Turns out, it is beautiful darn cool. 

Previously, Android made ideas within the app drawer of apps it concept you’ll need to use, relying at the time of day and different mysterious components. In Android 11, there is now a row of app ideas at the backside of your own home display the place your major app dock would typically display up. 


App ideas at the house display are new. 

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The apps have a sparkling border round them, and steadily trade while you go back to your own home display as you utilize your telephone. You can long-press on any of the app icons to pin that advice to your own home display. 

You too can block apps from appearing up as ideas if you do not need one thing like Gmail appearing up even supposing you utilize a distinct electronic mail app. 

To get entry to App Suggestions and tailor the way it works for you long-press on your own home display and make a choice Home Settings then Suggestions. There you’ll regulate ideas within the app drawer and at the house display or block apps from appearing up at the checklist. 

Android 11 will get fancier track controls

In the weblog submit announcement for the Android 11 public beta, Google confirmed off a brand new track regulate interface that appeared superb. Instead of playback controls taking a look extra like a pending notification, they are positioned within the Quick Settings panel on the most sensible of your display. And while you engage with them, there is a new strategy to regulate the place the track is taking part in. 

For instance, if in case you have Google’s new Pixel Buds 2 and a Nest Hub ($90 at Crutchfield), you’ll temporarily transfer between the two units with a few faucets. 


The new media controls certain glance great. 

Screenshots by means of Jason Cipriani/CNET

As of public beta 2, the function will have to be enabled by means of default and also you should not have to do the rest to get it to paintings. However, in the event you set up the Android 11 beta, and the function is nowhere to be discovered while you start taking part in track. Don’t get discouraged — it is there, however it is hidden. 

You’ll want to allow Developer Options in your telephone by means of opening the Settings app and going to About telephone. Scroll to the ground of the display the place you can to find Build Number. Tap on it till you spot a small notification display up announcing one thing like “Congrats! You’re now a developer.” 

Next, we will want to pass into Developer Options in Settings > System. Once there, to find Media resumption, flip it on, after which reboot your telephone. 

The subsequent time you get started taking part in some track, the brand new media controls will likely be to be had. 

A integrated display recorder

Screenshots are a handy guide a rough and simple technique to seize one thing in your display, however there are occasions when a recording is best suited for the duty to hand. For instance, if you wish to blow their own horns your gaming abilities, or spotlight the stairs to breed a computer virus — display recording FTW! 


You can in spite of everything report your display with an respectable Google device. 

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You can to find the Screen Record device within the Quick Settings panel after putting in Android 11. If it is not visual, faucet at the pencil icon so as to add it in your panel. 

Tap at the Screen Record icon and make a choice whether or not you need your microphone to report audio and if you need your contact interactions to be highlighted within the video. To forestall recording, faucet the Screen Record notification. The video will likely be stored in your digicam roll the place you’ll then edit and percentage the recording. 

We’re going to stay digging into Android 11 and notice what different candies are hidden or added right through the remainder of the beta procedure. There are some essential adjustments to how Android handles privateness settings you will have to know, as neatly. In the interim, in the event you simply cannot stay up for Android 11 to release later this 12 months, you’ll set up it presently

Now taking part in: Watch this: Android 11: What’s new within the public beta