Android 11: An Update That Needs Some Polish

Android 11 is here, three months after the first public beta was released in June. Since then, little has changed-mainly fixes for some bugs and problems with third-party applications, as well as a long-awaited built-in screen recorder. But for the majority of people who haven’t watched the beta, you’ll find new features, such as new controls for media and devices, improved privacy permissions, and a focus on communicating with people. The changes To Android 10 are subtle, especially some behind-the-scenes updates such as better support 5G. Still, a new operating system can make your phone feel fresh and efficient, and Android 11 offers.


The feature that excites me the most is the built-in screenshot. iOS already offers it, while Samsung, LG and OnePlus have it in their Android phones. Previously, I had used a third-party app on my Pixel to save snippets of my rating videos and share them on Instagram. Now that a native version is available, I can finally remove the ad-free app that also added an annoying watermark. You need to add the screen recording tool to the quick settings window. If you press it, you will receive a warning followed by a countdown to the start of recording. To end your session, you need to go down the notification screen and press the big red card, and an MP4 file will be saved in your Gallery.


Another high-level addition to Android 11 is Messaging Bubbles. In this way, apps such as Android Messages, Telegram and Facebook Messenger can display a persistent (theoretically) floating circle on your screen, allowing you to quickly reply to your friends without having to change apps. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically the floating minds of Facebook Messenger that have been around for years on Android. The new operating system offers other features, such as: the ability to open a bubble from a notification and view your recent conversations from different applications.

My biggest problem with bubbles is that it’s not consistent. After enabling the feature in settings, I used it in several conversations in Telegram and Facebook Messenger and was frustrated when chats were closed randomly. I had opened two bubbles for different people in Telegram, and each would simply disappear for reasons I can only guess. Sometimes it seemed like it was because I was using the app myself, even though it was a completely separate conversation. And sometimes it seemed like it was because I locked my phone. However, Facebook Messenger Chats got stuck, which may be a telegram-specific issue.

Errors are common with previous software, so these hiccups bother me less, because I hope they will be fixed over time. The other issue is that you cannot reopen a chat bubble after closing until you receive a notification of that conversation. You need to tap the icon at the bottom right of an alert to launch a bubble – think of it as interactive notifications instead. But it was also inconsistent-sometimes the Start button was not displayed.

If you wanted to float a Chat and accidentally closed it, you can only reopen it when you are waiting for a notification. You should also theoretically be able to use the “last bubbles” page to do this, but in my testing it never showed any of my previous Chats-there was always a pathetic empty window.

For most people, this is not a big deal. However, if you want to keep in touch All day, for example with a partner or employee of an important project, it would be good to keep open bubbles with you. I like to open my favorite conversations for easier access instead of having to type twice to launch the app and find the right Chat. However, at present, support for the app is still incomplete-neither WhatsApp nor Google’s Hangouts work with the bubbles – and some bugs need to be fixed.

The new notification shadow

Another way Google has tried to simplify communication with the important people in your life in Android 11 is to group and prioritize alerts from your messaging apps. When it debuted in beta, I wasn’t sure if it would help the Organization or if it would just add more mess. Now that I have spent more time with the software, I tend towards the latter.

Section titles provide a kind of Organization and help me distinguish the most urgent warnings from the least important ones. But sometimes Google gets it wrong and bans an important notification for me in the “mute” section below, so I have to scroll to the end to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Since I always have to go through the entire list of notifications instead of just dealing with the warnings above, the new section headers actually increase the volume of scrolling and swiping I have to do.

Google has placed conversations near the top is nice in theory, but it allows people I interact with on applications like Twitter, Instagram and e-mail. I prefer to process Twitter and Instagram notifications earlier than messages, so Google’s ranking is not my favorite. You can prioritize specific Chats, but only if they are already from supported messaging apps. If you hate clutter like me, you will be disappointed to learn that there is no way to disable these section headers.

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