Android 11 prints after the first few hours of use and new features we've used most

Android 11 is here: How to use bubbles, screen recording and other new  features right away - CNET

We tell you about our first impressions of Android 11 in these early hours with the system installed on a Google Pixel 4a. In addition, we tell you what is the news that we have used the most in the day to day without having to search among the 'secrets' of the system.

Android 11 is finally here. Whenever a new version of an operating system is released we like to review those new features and, if necessary, start using it to really see if there is a radical change or just a few strokes that polish what we already had.

After a few early hours with Android 11 in a Pixel 4a - which we analyzed a few weeks ago - we realize one thing: Google's system is finally in a mature state. There are no radical changes and what we see is that there are tweaks here and there to improve the functions of the system, but without breaking the experience.

The icons are the same, the speed we have experienced is basically the same, we have identical fluidity and, ultimately, it is like sticking with our Pixel 4a with Android 10. This is good, in part, because it doesn't force us to learn anything, but soon we start to see interesting news.

There are small details such as pure black details on app icons when we have the dark theme turned on (to save some battery on OLED/AMOLED screens) and other little things in the different sections of the system that we detailed to you a few hours ago.

Android 11 requires that you visit Settings to allow background location

Here are the most obvious improvements to Android 11 and the ones we've been using the most in these early hours with Google's new version of the system.

However, we want to emphasize that the experience has been in a Pixel because Android 11 has already reached other devices that have their own layer, so some elements will be different.

Improved multimedia controls that take up less space
I am a person who is constantly listening to music on mobile or throwing content from the mobile to the TV. You know that when you play media content on your mobile, it appears, appealed next to the notifications, a 'card' that gives us the playback controls. That changes with Android 11.

What now appears is a card with a more polished design, but right under the settings icons and quick settings. That is, it is something that is separate from notifications and is also more 'interactive'.

If we're playing music on mobile, but we send Chromecast a YouTube video and Fire TV a Netflix series, three cards appear that we can control independently.

It is something that works well, that allows us to select the playback source (for example, on Spotify we can switch between external or internal speakers simply) and that makes that top menu more orderly, in addition to allowing you to control the playback from there without having to enter each app.

New notifications by categories and with floating bubbles
Notifications on Android are usually a problem depending on your mobile and customization layer. Virtually all companies have solved this in the latest updates to their systems, but there are still terminals where notifications of certain apps are not displayed as they should.

We will see if with Android 11 you can solve these problems once and for all because the truth is that the notifications have improved yours. It is not essential and maybe if you are very casual users or realize it, but now we have notifications separated by types, with generals on the one hand and conversations (SMS, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc.) on the other.

We can mark preferred notifications to display at the top of the notification bar. For example, I have a contact positioned as preferred and whose conversations will always be shown about those of others.

However, this needs a little polishing and notifications would be appreciated to be smarter. That is, either by separating conversations from the rest, but the system should know which notifications are mail, which are from a social network, and which of other apps to separate those from Instagram from those of the gym, for example.

On the other hand, there are bubbles. It's about the big novelty and what it does is, at the system level, what other layers like Samsung allowed in some applications like SMS. When we get a notification from some conversation app, we can mark an option to make that conversation look like a bubble.

In this way, a floating bubble appears that adheres to the sides of the mobile, and that allows us to access that conversation without leaving the app in which we are. If you press 'back', the bubble is minimized but does not disappear.

We can have several conversations and apps like this to quickly switch between them and if we get tired, we just have to drag the bubble to the bottom of the screen.

The 'Power' button no longer only serves to turn the phone off/on: it is the control center of a connected home

One of the new features of Android 11 that I have been testing the most is that of the new power button. Traditionally, this button is used to restart/turn the phone on/off and the Pixels allowed us to place credit cards there to easily pay with Google Pay.

Android 11 is live, with chat upgrades, screen recording, and more

Now that section goes a step further and if we have Google Home turned on and linked to different IoT devices at home, control of them appears in that power menu.

Just press and hold the power button to bring up the menu. In my case I have three plugs, a light bulb, the Nest, and Chromecast and, in truth, it makes home control something more comfortable.

More accurate permission control
This is something that we will see more in the medium-long term than in a few hours with the system, but I find it interesting to note that we can revoke permissions of the application manually if we have stopped using an app that, for whatever reason, we do not uninstall.

On my terminal, I have some applications of those that you download for something punctual and that you then do not uninstall because to know if you will have to download it in the future. It gives you 'laziness' to uninstall such apps that also ask you for access to the whole phone, location, etc to work.

If this is the case, you should know that by entering the services section of each application you can revoke access to it. In addition, the new permissions are not only for apps that we leave, but for everyone, since the system is smarter and if we select that an app only has location permissions, contacts, etc. when it is being used or only for a certain moment, but we open it constantly, stop asking.

The new Android 10 features that will transform your phone | WIRED UK

Official screen recording, at last (and works well)
Recording the screen on mobiles that don't have their own app is, to put it mildly, a nightmare. Either the audio doesn't work or it looks with a very poor bitrate, it either has a watermark or it just doesn't work well.

The best screen recorder integrated into mobile is, for me, that of OnePlus. However, Samsung has put on its batteries and, in fact, with these two models we recorded the xCloud videos a few months ago. We leave you the impressions of the Microsoft streaming service.

Back to the subject. Android 11 has a screen recorder, at last, and not only has good quality, but it allows us to control options such as whether we want to record the internal audio of the application, if we want the mark of the on-screen touches or if we want the audio of the microphone.

Mobiles that can be upgraded to Android 11

That's the big question. When will I be able to upgrade my mobile to Android 11? The first mobile phones to access the new version of the system are, as is traditional, those of Google. Starting with Pixel 2 and up to 4th, you can upgrade to Android 11.

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