Also, when you’re viewing all your open apps, Android 11 will show options at the bottom of the screen to take a screenshot or select parts of the page.
Android 11 also added the option to show an extra row of apps at the bottom of your home screen for easier access to what Google thinks you use most often.
With Android 11, Google is also trying to cram more controls into spaces that were previously underused such as the power button menu, which now shows devices connected to your network — like your smart lights, security cameras or speakers, in addition to your Google Pay cards.
It also works when you’re looking at your open apps and hit the “Select” option at the bottom — Google will highlight pictures, icons and texts on the screen and you can tap each one to share or save it or even use Lens to get more information.
This allows apps like Android Messages, Telegram and Facebook Messenger to display a (theoretically) persistent floating circle on your screen so you can quickly reply to your friends without switching apps.
But a lock screen version would still be easier to use since my phone is usually locked if I’m listening to music or casting a video and it’s faster to access the lock screen than the notifications shade.
Another way Google tried to make it easier to communicate with the important people in your life in Android 11 is by grouping and prioritizing alerts from your messaging apps.
It’s nice to have a space dedicated to playback controls instead of in a notification card like in Android 10, especially since the feature was a little finicky in the older software.
The new Conversations section in notifications might add clutter and needs improvement, but the good news is you can disable most of Android 11’s changes if you hate them.
Like its predecessor, Android 11 is an iterative update to Google’s mobile OS that brings useful features like expanded power menu controls and better permissions settings.
The feature I’m most stoked about is built in screen recording. iOS already offers this, while Samsung, LG and OnePlus have this in their Android phones.
But for the majority of people who didn’t check out the beta, you’ll find a few new features, like new controls for media and devices, improved privacy permissions and a focus on communicating with people.
Another change that Android 11 brings to your notifications shade is a new persistent media player in the Quick Settings panel.
It’s much easier to hold down the power button and immediately control all my devices than having to find the Google Home app and search for the specific speaker or TV I wanted to turn off.
When you’re playing music or a video via a supported app like Spotify or YouTube Music, a dashboard appears above your notifications for quick access to controls.