Android 11 – Preview, Features & Release Date

When is Android 11 being released?

  • Announcement on 3 June
  • Presentation begins at 11am Eastern Time/4pm BST/5PM CET/8:30PM Mumbai

As with most presentations and launch events for 2020, Google is shifting its big reveal online. The Android 11 beta launch show will start at 11am ET on 3 June. At this point we’ll find out how many of the new features actually make it to the final software.

The first public beta will likely be pushed out around about that time, but the official public release of final software isn’t normally released until a few months down the line, typically in the fourth quarter around the time new phones are launched.

Which phones will get it?

Initially, the launch will make its way to Google Pixel phones. In its developer preview versions, that has meant the following phones:

1. Pixel 2 and 2 XL

2. Pixel 3 and 3 XL

3. Pixel 3a and 3a XL

4. Pixel 4 and 4 XL

Features:

Message bubbles

When you receive a message through the regular messages app, you can have it show up a notification in a floating bubble on the screen similar to how Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads works.

Eventually this will be available to other third party apps, but currently it’s just the one. To use it, just long-press a message notification and tap “show in a bubble”, and now you get your bubbles.

Resizable picture-in-picture window

Whenever you close a video app like YouTube or Netflix in Android it automatically puts that video in a small floating window on top of everything else, and keeps playing the video. In Android 11’s developer preview, Google added the option to resize that picture-in-picture window.

Screen recording

One cool new feature which some other Android phones already do – like the OnePlus 8 and 7T series phones – is easy screen recording. Drop down the quick setting shade, and the option is right there.

Redesigned notifications

What’s cool is that Android 11 breaks out and sorts notifications into relevant groups, so conversations – like the aforementioned SMS messages – appear at the top in their own easy to read section, making it easier to quickly reply and carry on with your tasks. Splitting them away from the other stuff you probably don’t care about as much.

Dark mode scheduling

Dark Mode first appeared as a system wide setting on Android 10. With Android 11 you can schedule and automated it. Set the time you want it to switch on or off each day manually by setting the time within the settings.

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Like so many apps and other Android phones you can also choose to have it come on at sunset, and switch off at sunrise.