MOUNTAIN VIEW: With the release of a beta version, Google has revealed a little more of what to expect from Android 11, which is due to roll out this fall.
The latest update to the operating system, which was to be presented at the Google I/O Developer Conference that was unfortunately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Android 11 will have a lot to offer.
The initial beta does not have all of the features of Android 11, but there are nonetheless plenty of interesting functionalities to explore.
One that looks to be very useful is Bubbles, a feature that allows you to pop out ongoing texting threads from any communications app into a bubble that floats over whatever else you might be doing.
Also with a view to facilitating communication, notifications will now be grouped together for greater visibility, and also to enable you to respond more quickly if necessary.
Another headline feature in Android 11 is the new media player, which can control multiple music apps at the same time and makes it easy to switch from one output to another, allowing you to continue playing a song on your headphones, speakers or even your TV.
With regard to home automation, it will also be possible to access devices connected to Google Home directly with a long press on the smartphone’s start button.
To speed up use of its virtual keyboard app, Gboard, Android 11 offers intelligent suggestions for text and emojis. There is also automatic initialisation of permissions for applications that have not been used for quite some time and a screen video capture tool.
It is important to note that this beta version can only be installed on Pixel smartphones (2nd generation or later). If you are the owner of one of these, you can try out the new features by registering for the Beta programme and then launching an update of the operating system.
The final version of Android 11 is expected to officially roll out in the fall of 2020.