The Best Android 11 Features you need to know



Benjamin Fisher

Android 11 was released by Google in late 2020, however, not all devices are upgraded to the new operating system straight off. Android 11 features are the added features to Android 10 with around 117 that include some gender-neutral and transgender representation. 

The OS has been rolling out slowly for months now, the latest android update is already rolling out to Google Pixel phones and will come to more devices sooner. 

What is the Android 11 release date?

Google officially released the Android 11 update on September 8, 2020. Well, the Android 11 release date marked the release of Android 11 on Pixel phones except for the original Pixel and Pixel XS that were released in the year 2016. 

So while various smartphones can upgrade to Android 11, and a few upgrades are pre-installed in some devices, this significantly depends on the device type and the country/location you are waiting in.

Like the past Android update, the design is not very reformed and the features also aren’t completely changed on how you use your phone, but there are several little enhancements that are worth discussing. For this, we will be looking at the top Android 11 features to look for when the device gets updated. There are absolutely more – but these are the highlights. 

Do note that not all these features will appear on all devices. For example, if you own a Samsung phone, the newest android version of Samsung’s One UI doesn’t possess every feature as Samsung has replaced it with something unique in One UI. No wonder, the current android version has transformed visually and conceptually time and again at a faster pace. 

So, here’s a roundup of all the important new Android 11 features, so you know what all to use when you finally get it!

1. Conversation Notification

This is one of the best Android 11 features which is easily accessible for any user. In Android 10, you swipe down to bring your notification bar – well in Android 11 that system changes. Android 11 splits it into two sections – ‘Notifications’ and your ‘Conversations’. 

Basically, this conversation section houses all types of conversations and are just chat notifications from text messages or chat apps like Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and Twitter, so you know they are probably worth more focus than other notifications. This shall also apply to direct messages within other applications like Instagram. 

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There is an option to prioritize conversations and apps within this section that will allow you to give the top priority to messages from your loved ones or essential messages you would not be wanting to miss on daily basis. 

2. Notification History 

We all do it every time: a notification appears and you instantly swipe it away thinking to watch later. Then you realize that it’s too late and that notification is gone. 

Well, not anymore with the latest android version – Android 11! This is one of the useful Android 11 features that give the user an option to save each notification that appeared on the phone over the past 24 hours. One can see the running list, find back the notification that was accidentally swiped, and overview what exactly is missed.

The steps to opt for this feature are: Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Notification history. Once done, you can toggle the feature on.

3. Chat Bubbles 

Have you ever used Facebook messenger on android? If yes, you would probably know how chat bubbles work. In messenger, there is a ‘chat head’ option that appears on the top and a quick tap icon opens or minimizes the chat back to the icon. 

That’s how exactly the system-wide bubble feature works. The only difference is that it works for any chat app along with Messenger or other apps with a similar structure. 

4. Android 11 Screen Recorder

There are several apps on the App Stores that will record your phone’s screen. With that, Android 11 seems a little late to the party, but it’s still exciting. Now you don’t need to download an extra app for that. 

The ‘Screen Recorder’ option in the latest android version is present in the Quick Settings tiles. You got to tap this feature that allows you a few options before you start recording like – whether it shall include the screen tap in the recording or whether the audio also needs to be captured.

Also, if you are looking for advanced screen recorder features, you always have the option of third-party apps.

5. Media Controls

Now since the section of the drawer with Android 11, one of the major Android versions, is now reserved for conversations, the media player had to shift. So, Google decided to move the music player to Quick Setting Section. Guess, this makes more sense as the media controller is not really a notification, rater it can be a tool or an app. 

This feature will show you the app it’s related to, cover art, basic controls, and the system the media is playing. Just swipe down from the screen top to see a mini player or in full size. Moreover, if you already have more than one media app running, there is the option to check the controls of each one by swiping side-to-side. 

6. Smart Device Controls

With modern technologies, many people are embracing some form of smart home tech in their daily lives. Due to this, Google added a new section in the android latest version that offers easy control over several devices without opening any app. 

You need to hold the power button to launch the new tool and find the power features at the top of the screen. There is a Google Pay shortcut that allows you to instantly select the payment method for your next contactless transaction. Under that, you’ll find a plethora of buttons that are connected to smart home products.

7. One-time permissions and auto reset

There are tons of control for users when it comes to security and privacy in Android 11. 

Android 11 will now “auto-reset” apps that are not used and opened in a while. If the location data permission is granted by the user to an app that has not been used or opened up in a long time, Android will now revoke all permissions. Next time when the app is opened, the user will have to approve those permissions again. If the app is never opened, though, the data is safe.

In simple terms, the phone will by default revoke permissions for apps if they’re not used for a period of time, so the app cannot track the location of the user if forgotten to download.

8. Dark theme scheduling

It is pretty exciting that Google finally introduced a dark mode to Android 10. However, it was fairly schematic: it was either on or off. With Android 11, users can now choose the dark theme based on two barometers: Firstly, they can turn the dark mode on or off when the sun sets or rises or set up a custom schedule for dark mode activation whenever the user wishes. 

Did you know that earlier in 2020, Google had rolled out the sunset/sunrise setting to Pixel phones running Android 10? But the Android latest update enables dark mode to save battery life and reduce the stress on the eyes in morning or evening hours.  

9. Updates via Play Store

This is one of the major Android 11 features where Android 11 gives more power-related updates to the Google Play Store. This allows Google to entirely boost updates to every user which is universally an essential feature as it keeps Android phones safer and upgraded at all times. It would be much better if that didn’t happen, but at least Google is doing whatever can be done to address any privacy issue.

1O. App Suggestions 

App Suggestions is actually a really cool feature, but it is only applicable to Pixel phones only for now.

If you own a Pixel device with an Android 11 update, There’s the option to let Google’s AI control all the apps in your Pixel phone device. Android with the help of AI determines the five apps it thinks should be present at any given time. Such apps will be constantly changing aiming to be ready before they are opened. 

11. Wireless Android Auto

Wireless Android Auto is an incredibly useful feature but requires the device to be plugged in. Some particular phones like Pixels can connect to android auto wireless. Luckily, in Android 11, almost all smartphones run the Android operating system with the benefit of android auto connections. 


So, here’s an overview of all the most useful new features in Android 11, and the above feature represents its highlights. We hope you find the information useful!

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