In the same week we discovered that Harmony OS from Huawei is coming sooner than expected, we also received Android 11 – the latest update to the most popular mobile operative system. Although not everything is new (since a beta version was rolled out in June), we can now see the final features that can be expected to be available in the coming devices and in the ones that receive the update. 

As we have seen with previous Android updates, it’ll be on the device manufacturers’ hands to take a step forward and bring this step to end-users. At this early stage, Xiaomi is the only OEM that’s decided to make one of its devices –Xiaomi Mi 10 and Pro- compatible with Android 11, along with Google’s Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4, and 4a (and their XL versions). Anyway, we expect to see more and more OEMs joining in as major Android updates are something users value quite a lot. 

What are the main features of Android 11? 

App Permissions 

This is one of the most anticipated features from Android users due to privacy concerns gaining more and more relevance. You can now grant permission on a one-off basis, instead of the two options we’ve got now (Always, or When in use). But this is not all, Android will automatically revoke permissions if you don’t use an app for a while, and we believe this is a great technique to keep app permissions and privacy under control at all times. 

Conversations Tab 

Once you get a notification from a messaging app (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger… even Twitter), these will appear in a separate section in the notifications bar. In Android 11, when you swipe down from the top of the notifications bar, you’ll see these grouped in a more prominent way, and the best part is that you can reply straight away without actually opening the app. On top of that, you can now have your conversations in bubbles, in a similar way to Facebook Messenger. These bubbles will float above other apps so you can keep up on your conversations without leaving the task you are currently doing. 

Screen Recording 

This one will be new for some users only since it’s already been implemented by some of the OEMs Android versions. Basically, the screen recording feature is now built-in, so you don’t need to download any additional app to do so. We believe it’ll be especially useful for content creates and for the work environment.

Notifications History 

This has probably happened to many users: swiping away a notification once you receive it and then regretting having done that. With Android 11, you can check the history of notifications received in the last 24 hours, but it seems this feature will not be enabled by default. Users will need to go to their phone settings to enable it. 

Dark Mode Scheduling 

We all got quite excited when Android 10 implemented a native dark mode that enables this feature in all apps that have it available. With Android 11, the operative system takes one step forward and allows us to customize when the dark mode is to be activated. Users can choose it to be active whenever the sun sets or rises or set up a custom schedule. 

Disregarding the impact these new features may have on Android users’ satisfaction, it’s great news to see that our favorite mobile operating system is constantly evolving.