Android 11 features you need to know about

Android 11 is here! Google and the Open Handset Alliance have delivered an update to your operating system that will make a big difference in how you use your smartphone daily.

While the update is available for some devices right away, others will take a few weeks — as is usually the case with major operating system updates.

Is your smartphone eligible for the Android 11 update? Check out this list to find out if you can update your Android phone today.

By now, you might be excited to get that update, the type of update that makes the possibly worn device in your hand feel brand new again — Android 11. But what features are we excited about in particular? Please keep reading to find out our top features and updates added to the Android 11 operating system.

Quick Controls

The odds are if you’re looking into these features you’ve just installed or are thinking about installing Android 11 on your compatible smartphone.

If you already have Android 11, long-press the power button on your phone to bring up the new Quick-Controls screen. This screen shows power control options along the top, provides shortcuts to Google Pay cards and boarding passes, and near the bottom, you’ll find the best feature — quick controls for smart home devices.

Android wants you to seamlessly switch from your speaker to your headphones or from your smartphone to your TV. With the latest OS from Android, you’ll be able to change the device that your media is playing on quickly.

If you’ve already linked any devices to your Google Assistant, there’s a good chance the update will automatically add these quick-control options.

If you want to add new devices, tap the Menu Button, and select add or edit controls.

Hold for Me

Have you ever had to wait on hold, perhaps listening to elevator music or a prerecorded message? While this might have been fun in the 90s, Android wants to end this chore. That’s why the Android 11 update has included a feature that allows you to go about your daily tasks while they wait on hold for you! Don’t worry; you’ll be alerted when someone finally answers the phone.

To turn on the hold for me feature:

  1. Go to the Phone application.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu icon, then tap Settings.
  3. Select Hold for me from the list of options and turn it on.

After enabling hold for me, when your phone detects you’ve called a customer service number, the in-call screen will have a hold for me button that you can press when placed on hold.

Tap Start. Now a screen will appear, reminding you not to hang up. While you won’t be able to listen to music or play videos on your phone while on hold, you don’t have to wait with bated breath.

On top of that, a live text transcript shows up that tells you everything that was said while you were waiting for a customer service representative to answer. The transcript feature even allows you to catch up on something you may have missed when the representative first answers the call.

When taken off hold, your phone will ring or vibrate. Just like you’re getting a call, your hold for me app will let you know that someone is waiting to talk to you, and you can resume the call.

Prioritize New Message

Now that you have Android 11 installed, you’ll notice a dedicated Conversations section for all of your messaging apps in your notification tray. While this may make it easier to find alerts you likely care about most if you receive many messages, this section can quickly get messy.

That’s why the latest Android OS allows you to prioritize your alerts on your own. If you want to tune these features, long-press the conversation you want to follow and select Priority.

After selecting individual threads as a priority, new messages in those prioritized threads will move to the top of all of your conversation alerts. You can even use the contact’s avatar as an alert icon in the notification tray and lock screen — but we’ll talk about that more in the next section.

Google Pixel 4Bubbles for Messaging

The Bubbles feature was supposed to be a part of Android 10 but was pulled at the last second. If you use Facebook Messenger, you’ve already experienced a close cousin to Bubbles.

After you’ve activated the Bubbles feature, a small avatar (or Bubble) will appear on top of all other windows — no matter which application you’re using.

Sometimes Bubbles get in the way. If you want to move your Bubbles, drag them to where you want them on your screen. If you want to delete a Bubble, drag it to the (x) icon, typically near the screen’s bottom middle.

Do you want to change a conversation to a Bubble? Tap on the small Bubbles icon in the bottom-right corner of the notification. Tapping the Bubbles icon will immediately enable Bubbles for the selected thread. Do you want a particular conversation to always be a Bubble? That feature is also available for all threads.

It’s a plus that Android decided to make the Bubbles feature an opt-in, based on individual threads. Having too many Bubbles floating around could be distracting and make your device’s screen look messy.

Do you want to disable Bubbles? Open the Settings app and search for Bubbles. Here you’ll be able to toggle the Bubbles setting on and off altogether.

Music Control Box

Tired of opening and closing your music application (Spotify, Youtube Music, Google Play)? With the new playback control, you’ll have easy access to skip, go back, play, pause, or switch the device in which your music is playing.

The playback control will also no longer appear as a pending notification (which you can accidentally clear). You’ll always have the playback options while your music is playing with the new media control box.

Easy Screen Recording

While you’ve always been able to take a screenshot on your Android phone, sometimes a snapshot doesn’t do enough.

That’s why Android wanted you to be able to record a video of your screen without having to install a third-party application or record from someone else’s device.

Do you want to enable screen recording? Go to Quick Settings on your smartphone after installing Android 11. If the screen recording tool isn’t already available, tap on the pencil icon to add it to your panel.

Tap on the Screen Record icon, and you’ll be able to select whether you want your microphone to record audio and if you want your touch interactions to be highlighted in the recorded video. After you’re done recording, tap the Screen Record notification, and the video will automatically be saved to your Camera Roll — where you can share or edit your screen recording.

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Control App Access

Tired of wondering which companies are using your data? With Android 11, you can take charge of your own data. You get to choose whether to give the apps you download permission to access sensitive data or not, so you’re always aware of where your information goes.

You’ll also be able to give One-time permissions. For example, if an application needs access to your microphone, you can select Only this time if you always want a prompt for access.

On that note, you’ll also be able to easily reset permissions for apps that you haven’t used in a while. It’s just as easy to turn the permissions back on.

Designed for Your Security

You have peace of mind with Android 11, knowing you have protection in everything you do. Whether you’re downloading apps, browsing the web, or sharing data — your Android 11 smartphone will alert you when something seems amiss. For example, if you accidentally click a harmful link, your device will alert you and give you tips on what to do next.

Third-party apps have always been a cornerstone for Android users, but now you’ve got the protection that you need. Google Play Protect scans apps every day, and if a bad one is detected, you’ll receive an alert with suggestions on how to proceed.

Tired of unwanted spam calls? Android 11 screens your calls so you don’t have to waste time answering bots. Even if you’re talking to a real person, spam protection will tell you if the call is bad, so you don’t give strangers your personal information. To protect your privacy, the entire transcription of the call happens entirely on your device.

With Google Safe Browsing, you can explore the web with confidence, knowing you’re protected from dangerous websites and malicious files. If you unknowingly navigate to a malicious website or file, you’ll receive a warning and be brought back to a safe location, so you don’t encounter malware or a phishing scam. No one wants to be tricked into handing over their private data.

 

Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh

Android 11 Rentals from your Tech Travel Agent

Do you need Android or Apple smartphones on a temporary basis? Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh specializes in smartphone rentals, tablet and iPad rentals, computer rentals, laptop rentals, and much more. Mark will handle any questions you have about shipping your technology, how long it will take, and what other services we can provide.

Additionally, Mark and our Tech Travel Agents have handled a number of orders for employees looking to work from home and can assist you with that process. Contact Mark today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 249 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form and we will get back to you promptly.

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