Google has finally released Android 11, after months and months of developer previews and Betas. The newest version of Android is rolling out now to Pixel devices.
Since Android is now a pretty mature operating system, there's not a lot of large changes coming in this new version. But Android 11 is mostly focused on conversations and making it easier to keep up with your friends and family. That has never been more important than in 2020, with the majority of us working from home (and going to school from home).
One of the biggest new features in Android 11 is Conversation Bubbles. And yes, the official name here is "Bubbles" for this feature. It's basically a rip off of Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads. Allowing you to pop conversations into bubbles and respond to them without leaving the app you are currently in. Most messaging apps support this, but not quite all of them just yet.
Redesigned media controls & a built-in screen recorder also debut in Android 11
Android 11 also brings in redesigned media controls. These are now in the quick settings part of the notification shade. It gives you the same information as before, but now, it's in the quick settings, so it's easier to access. The new media controls also work to make it easier to control which device the music is playing on – your phone, a Google Assistant speaker, Sonos speaker, etc.
After many years, Google has finally introduced a native screen recorder in Android 11. Something that most other Android OEM skins have had for years. You can record your screen right from the quick settings, and use the microphone to record audio. Or you can choose not too. All done without needing to download another app.
Rolling out now to select Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and realme devices
Android 11 is now rolling out to Google Pixel devices. It'll be available for the Pixel 2 and newer.
Google also noted that it is beginning to roll out today for "select Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and realme phones", which is surprising and new for Google. Normally only the Pixel gets the new version of Android on day one.
We'll have to wait to hear from OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and realme about which phones are getting it today. However, this is definitely exciting for those that own those devices, as they won't need to wait very long to get Android 11.
As usual, other devices will be getting the update in the coming months.