6 new features of Android 11 we’re excited for

Kyle Chua

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6 new features of Android 11 we’re excited for
The latest version of Google's mobile OS will be here soon. Here are some key features

Google is not letting the global pandemic stop it from rolling out the next iteration of its mobile operating system, Android 11, later this year. 

The internet giant announced that it plans to hold an online launch event for the beta on June 3 in place of the cancelled annual Google I/O developer conference, promising updates on connectivity, accessibility, security, and productivity, among many others. 

However, we don’t have to wait that long to learn more about what’s in store as there have already been multiple developer previews since mid-February that hint at what new features could possibly make the final update. 

Here are some of the best ones below:

Notification history

Let’s face it, receiving notifications can be annoying – so much so that you sometimes just clear them all out without first looking at them and consequently miss an important message or reminder. 

While we can always just go through each app one by one to try to figure out what the notification was for, having access to a notification history can make this process much easier. 

The feature is not entirely new as it’s reportedly been available since Android 4.3, but it hasn’t been used as much since it was practically hidden under developer menus and the process of accessing it proved more tedious than it was worth. 

That could all change with Android 11, however, with XDA-Developers reporting that they spotted a Notifications History page in the Notifications Log containing a list of recently dismissed notifications. This seemingly hints that a user-friendly version of the feature is coming in the next major update. 

Screen recording

Native screen recording first made its debut in last year’s Android 10, but it was later disabled due to it being mostly unusable. The much-requested feature is making a comeback with Android 11, allowing you to capture video clips of your phone activity. 

If the developer tests were any indication, screen recording is working much better now, touting improvements such as options to enable audio recording via the microphone and show screen touches. Some Android phones have also had screen recording features, along with apps that offer the same service. But it’s great to hear that it’ll be baked in once again onto Android. 

Auto revoke permissions

It’s perfectly normal to download a lot of apps on your phone and eventually forget about them. The problem is these apps may still be collecting private data from you when you granted them permissions to access your contacts, camera, location, files, and others when you first used them. 

That’s why Android 11 is said to be bringing an option to automatically revoke permissions from apps that you haven’t used for a few months. It’s not quite clear yet how the option is going to work, but expect it to help you streamline the process of safeguarding your data from apps. 

Scheduling Dark theme

Last year’s Android 10 introduced Dark theme, a setting which, as its name suggests, lets you dim down the colors of menus and backgrounds to make them less straining for the eyes. 

Android 11 is building upon that feature, adding an option for you to schedule when Dark theme automatically enables itself. You can, for instance, schedule it to toggle on sundown or before you go to bed, helping you rest your eyes and conserve your phone’s battery during these parts of the day.

Bluetooth in Airplane mode

When you hop into a flight, one of the first things you will likely do is toggle Airplane mode on your phone. Doing so, however, turns Bluetooth off and disconnects any earbuds or headphones you might have on. You can always turn it on again and reconnect your audio devices, but it’s an inconvenience that you likely wish you never have had to deal with in the first place. 

Android 11 is said to be addressing this concern, making Airplane mode much smarter than it previously was. With the update, Bluetooth will remain on when Airplane mode is activated, saving you from having your music playback interrupted during flights. 

Mute notifications during video recording

If you’re a fan of taking videos on your phone, you’re probably going to love that Android 11 is reportedly introducing an API that can allow apps to mute sounds and vibrations while the camera app is open. This should help minimize any sudden shakes or distractions when you’re shooting your Instagram story or TikTok video. – Rappler.com

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