Android 11 is bringing a new section to notifications, called "Conversations".
The point of this new section is to highlight notifications from messaging apps like Hangouts, WhatsApp, Telegram and more. And allowing you to quickly see which conversations you are currently in and have received notifications for. And of course, quick reply is still available. So you can reply to all of your messages from the notification shade at once.
Currently, in the first developer preview, it looks like Google is automatically detecting which apps are messaging apps. As it is working for Google Voice, Hangouts, Messages, WhatsApp and a few other messaging apps that are out there.
There's now three sections in notifications
Last year, Google introduced "silent notifications" these are things like Google Assistant giving you a notification on the weather, or persistent notifications, stuff that don't need your immediate attention, so they are silent.
Now, we have Conversations. So there are now three sections in notifications. There's Conversations at the top, followed by standard notifications, and then silent notifications. It is going to make things a bit more crowded, but it should make things easier, especially if you are one that has multiple conversations going in multiple messaging apps, which seems to be most of us these days.
That's not all that's changing with messaging apps in Android 11
Android 11 is also bringing bubbles to all messaging apps.
It's a feature that Facebook Messenger has been using for many years now – I remember it being available on the Facebook phone! And it has been available in Android, but mostly as a developer feature. In Android 11, it will be available for all messaging apps. So you can reply without closing the app that you are currently in.
And now, one of the other options in the notification shade for these messaging apps, is the ability to open the message as a bubble. So you can quickly access it on the side of your screen, even after you've read the message.
All in all, this change to the notification shade and bringing in bubbles for all messaging apps should be very useful. Especially for those that are using a few different messaging apps – which is really all of us. It's good to see Google bringing in some changes to Android 11 that should make things easier for everyone. Hopefully, this is not one of those features that will get removed before the stable release later this year.