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18 superior suggestions for Android 11

A brand new Android model is intriguing, thrilling, and — let’s be sincere — generally a bit perplexing. Particularly these days, it is all too widespread to see a shiny new replace present up in your telephone, eagerly look to see what recent treats are in retailer, after which end up scratching your head as you battle to see what’s completely different and the way you ought to be profiting from no matter was delivered to your system.

There isn’t any denying it: Android’s evolution has grown considerably extra refined through the years. Whereas early Android updates represented large leaps ahead and near-constant reinventions of the working system, extra trendy Android rollouts are likely to revolve largely round refinement and small however important touches. It is a smart shift at this level within the platform’s improvement, however it usually makes it powerful to know when you’re tapping into the whole lot Google’s newest software program gives.

And Android 11 is definitely no exception. The most recent Android launch is chock-full of essential additions, however lots of them are below the hood and never instantly apparent. And even those which are on the floor require a teensy little bit of tweaking to be dropped at their full potential.

Whether or not you simply bought Android 11 just lately or have had it since its formal launch final September, the recommendations on this web page will enable you unlock the entire software program’s sensible worth. The magic’s already all there and ready; it is simply as much as you to hunt it out and embrace it.

Should you’re among the many many non-Google-phone house owners nonetheless ready for the software program to succeed in you, hold onto this information for the longer term — and take a look at my separate story on bringing Android-11-like options onto any telephone right now for some intelligent methods to provide your self comparable parts within the meantime.

(Notice that the options and steps described under are all related to Google’s authentic Android 11 software program, which is current on Pixel telephones, Android One units, and sure different merchandise. Some Android phone-makers modify the working system and even often omit options for no obvious cause — so when you’re utilizing a tool that does not persist with Google’s default Android association, among the parts talked about right here could also be completely different or in just a few circumstances fully absent in your telephone.)

Privateness safety

1. Probably the most consequential addition in Android 11, particularly from a enterprise perspective, is the elevated set of instruments the software program provides you for privateness safety — so do not let that go to waste!

The primary and most essential factor you may wish to make the most of is the software program’s extra nuanced controls for digicam, location, and microphone permissions. As of Android 11, you may grant apps entry to these areas on a restricted, single-session foundation — which means the permissions will expire and must be requested anew as quickly as you exit the app and transfer on to one thing else.

However, critically, any apps that had been in your telephone earlier than the Android 11 improve will have already got everlasting permissions granted — so it is as much as you to return and reassess ’em as wanted.

To take action, open up the Privateness part of your system settings and faucet “Permission supervisor.” One after the other, look via the classes for “Digicam,” “Location,” and “Microphone.” Should you see any authorized permissions that you simply’d quite have dealt with on a case-by-case foundation, faucet the related app’s line after which change its setting to “Ask each time.”

01 android 11 permissionsJR Raphael/IDG

Android 11’s new short-term permissions can higher defend your knowledge, however it’s usually as much as you to search out and make the most of them.

With any apps you put in from this level ahead, the immediate to make that call will come up mechanically the primary time the app requests one of many related permissions — so it is solely with current apps that you have to carry out this one-time evaluation.

2. The opposite Android 11 privateness function that requires your motion is the software program’s capacity to mechanically revoke delicate permissions from apps that you have not opened or in any other case utilized in a matter of months. Oddly, that functionality is not all the time on by default — so head into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, faucet the road to see your entire apps, if wanted, after which faucet the title of any app the place you would like that conduct to happen.

Subsequent, you may wish to faucet “Permissions” and search for a line labeled “Take away permissions if app is not used.” Activate the toggle subsequent to it, after which relaxation simple figuring out that the doorways to your delicate information will mechanically shut if the app in query ever will get forgotten.

Subsequent-level notifications

3. Notifications get a pleasant improve with a brand new devoted “Conversations” part in Android 11, and you’ll take management of how precisely it really works. Anytime you obtain a message inside an app that helps the function, simply press and maintain the notification to disclose a brand new possibility that’ll set it as a precedence dialog — which causes its notification to look on the high of the “Conversations” part, with the sender’s profile photograph as its personal standalone icon in your standing bar space, and optionally even with an expandable bubble you should use to maintain the dialog available it doesn’t matter what else you are doing.

03 android 11 notification bubblesJR Raphael/IDG

You’ll be able to pop essential messages out into expandable bubbles for simple ongoing entry, due to Android 11’s new “Conversations” controls.

4. You’ll be able to truly flip any suitable messaging thread right into a bubble, too, no matter whether or not it is set as a priority-level dialog. Simply look within the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings and discover the brand new “Conversations” possibility, then faucet the road comparable to the dialog you wish to convey into the bubble interface.

That’ll pull up a settings display screen on which you’ll be able to decide to have the dialog all the time seem inside that persistent bubble, no matter its standing.

5. That very same conversation-specific settings display screen holds another choice price remembering: the choice to drag a particular messaging thread out of the “Conversations” part altogether in order that it seems as a daily, much less emphasised notification.

6. Ever end up wishing you might convey again a notification you inadvertently swiped away? Android 11 has the answer with its new Notification Historical past function. Be sure to allow it by going into the Apps (or Apps & Notifications) part of your system settings, then tapping “Notifications” adopted by “Notification historical past.” Flip the toggle on the high of the display screen into the on place, and at any time when you’ve got not less than one notification current, you may see a brand new “Historical past” possibility that’ll take you to an inventory of all dismissed alerts from the previous 24 hours.

06 android 11 notification historyJR Raphael/IDG

Android 11’s new Notification Historical past part is a handy strategy to look again at alerts you have just lately dismissed.

Shortcuts and time-savers

7. Android 11’s most sensible new function, when you ask me, is the connected-device command middle it brings into the system energy menu — the display screen that comes up whenever you press and maintain your telephone’s bodily energy button. Some device-makers, sadly, determined to drag this function out of the working system earlier than sending it to their clients (hello, Samsung!), however it’s indubitably a shining spotlight of the most recent Android software program.

As long as you are utilizing a telephone the place that ingredient hasn’t been eliminated, press and maintain that newly empowered energy button for a second or so, and you may see your new greatest buddy pop proper up in entrance of you — full with controls for any sensible lights, cameras, thermostats, or different such merchandise which are arrange in your surroundings and related to your Google account.

07 android 11 power menuJR Raphael/IDG

The brand new Android 11 energy menu makes it simple to regulate related units (and extra!) from wherever in your telephone.

8. You’d by no means comprehend it from wanting, however the tiles inside that new energy button menu can do extra than simply act as mere on-off toggles. For any tiles the place further choices can be found, it’s also possible to long-press to drag up superior potentialities in a easy overlay display screen.

9. As useful as it may be, that connected-device command middle can even get a bit cluttered. If, like me, you discover the on-by-default presence of gigantic photos exhibiting your Google-Pay-connected bank cards in that space to be of little sensible worth, head into the System space of your system settings, faucet “Gestures,” after which faucet “Energy menu” adopted by “Playing cards & passes.” (In case your telephone’s menu construction would not match that, strive looking your system settings for energy menu to get to a comparable place.)

Flip the toggle on the display screen that comes up into the off place, and that Pay-related ingredient of the ability menu might be gone for good.

10. Along with eliminating pointless parts from Android 11’s energy menu, you may add in new connected-device controls and alter the order of the present controls to place your most often accessed gadgets into particularly easy-to-reach locations. Faucet the three-dot menu icon throughout the energy menu after which choose both “Add controls” or “Edit controls” to make the most of both risk.

11. You do not have to cease with related units, both. With a couple of minutes of superior configuration, you may add virtually something into the Android 11 energy menu — an always-accessible shortcut to launch Android’s split-screen perform, a easy on-screen button for capturing a screenshot of any app, or perhaps a one-tap command for composing a particular prewritten “thanks” electronic mail or textual content message to observe a gathering, for just a few fascinating examples.

All you want is a strong Android app referred to as Tasker and about 5 minutes of artful configuration to make it occur — and whereas the preliminary setup course of is a teensy bit difficult, I’ve bought an easy-to-follow information that’ll take you thru it step-by-step.

12. One other simply ignored Android 11 goodie is the software program’s addition — or re-addition, to be extra correct — of the power to pin gadgets to the highest of the system share menu and maintain your mostly used targets on the high.

The share menu, in case the title would not instantly ring a bell, is the factor that comes up whenever you share one thing from one app to a different — like whenever you spotlight textual content in an electronic mail after which faucet “Share.” Some Android apps now use their very own customized menu for that perform, quite vexingly, however everytime you’re seeing the usual system share menu, you may take management of it by urgent and holding any common icon inside its record after which choosing the “Pin” possibility that pops up.

12a android 11 share menu pinningJR Raphael/IDG

It could not seem like a lot, however that tucked-away “Pin” possibility throughout the Android share menu can prevent tons of time.

That’ll trigger the app’s icon to stay in a particular high row inside that menu, above some other gadgets.

12b android 11 share menu pinnedJR Raphael/IDG

Pinned gadgets present up in their very own devoted row on the high of the system share menu, with a pushpin to the left of their title.

You’ll be able to pin as much as 4 share targets there, they usually’ll all the time seem in that spot in alphabetical order.

Superior audio, video, and visible choices

13. Whereas some Android device-makers have added display screen recording techniques into their software program for ages now, Android 11 marks the primary time such a perform has been constructed into the precise core working system. Should you’re utilizing a telephone with Google’s model of Android, you may reveal the brand new system-level Display Recorder by swiping down twice from the highest of your display screen to open the Fast Settings panel, then tapping the small pencil icon in its lower-left nook to edit its contents.

Scroll down till you see an icon labeled “Display Document,” probably towards the underside of the record. Press and maintain it after which drag it up right into a place throughout the panel’s lively space.

Again out of that enhancing device and look again at your Fast Settings menu to search out and use your newly uncovered device.

14. You’d most likely by no means consider it, however along with supplying you with a straightforward strategy to report demo movies and carry out troubleshooting in your telephone, Android’s Display Recorder can allow you to report an ongoing name — whether or not it is a common telephone name or one remodeled a community (with or with out video) by way of an app. Simply activate that very same Display Document perform when a name is underway, then faucet the “Document audio” line and alter the setting from “Microphone” to “Machine audio and microphone.”

14 android 11 screen recorderJR Raphael/IDG

The “Machine audio and microphone” setting will trigger the Android 11 Display Recorder to seize each what you are saying and what the particular person on the opposite finish of a name is saying.

Simply be certain you are conscious of any legal guidelines surrounding that course of in your space earlier than you start. Some states require just one particular person to comply with any recordings being made throughout a name, whereas others require everybody on a name to provide consent. Insurance policies differ internationally as properly.

15. One in all Android’s greatest hidden options is its capacity to pop an actively taking part in video or perhaps a Google Maps navigation right into a small floating window whenever you transfer away from the related app. As of Android 11, that function will get much more helpful with the fully invisible capacity to resize the window of any such picture-in-picture field.

After getting one in place, simply drag your finger in or out diagonally on any of its corners to make it larger or smaller. Who knew?!

16. Talking of media, Android 11 introduces an clever new consolidated media participant that places controls for any audio or video taking part in out of your telephone right into a single, streamlined house above your notification panel — as a substitute of getting every app create its personal unbiased set of controls that exists as a notification. Generally, although, that new participant sticks round properly previous its welcome, lengthy after you have completed interacting with the content material.

Effectively, take observe: You’ll be able to press and maintain the participant to discover a tucked-away choice to dismiss it and ship it a-packin’. You probably have a number of gamers going without delay, you may swipe to the proper or left on the participant interface to maneuver between ’em after which long-press on the participant whereas any supply is exhibiting to dismiss it.

16 android 11 media playerJR Raphael/IDG

You’ll be able to swipe left or proper to maneuver between a number of audio sources within the Android 11 media participant after which long-press on any supply to dismiss it.

17. Should you discover the Android 11 media participant begins sticking round too lengthy as a normal rule, strive looking your telephone’s settings for media. Until your system’s producer has eliminated the choice, you must discover a setting referred to as “Media participant in Fast Settings” (or one thing alongside these traces). Pull it up and transfer the toggle related to it to the off place. That’ll inform Android that you simply do not need it to maintain the participant round “for an prolonged interval” even after you have completed listening.

18. Final however not least, when you often end up looking at your telephone in dim lighting, do your self a favor and make the most of Android 11’s new Darkish Theme scheduling functionality. Look within the Show part of your system settings to search out the “Darkish Theme” possibility, then faucet its line — the precise textual content, not the toggle subsequent to it — and you may see the newly added “Schedule” function. You’ll be able to set the Darkish Theme to return on and off mechanically at sundown and dawn, respectively, or you may create your individual schedule when you’d quite preserve a unique set of nighttime hours.

The opposite possibility, in fact, is to show your flippin’ telephone off and go to mattress already — however that, as everyone knows, is commonly simpler stated than performed.

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