Android 11 features, release date, phones, Easter Egg, and everything you would like to understand

Android 11 features, release date, phones, Easter Egg, and everything you would like to understand 

Android 11 (Image credit: Shutterstock / TechRadar)

The Android 11 update is finally here. After being announced all the way back in February, and having a beta unrolled in June, the most recent version of Google's smartphone and tablet OS is here for all.

Well, once we say 'here for all', we mean the ultimate version of the Android 11 software has begun rolling out, though it isn't on all phones immediately. you'll see which smartphones are compatible with Android 11 below, and more companies are announcing the update is coming to their phones all the time, so this list will keep getting expanded.

Below that, we've listed all the Android 11 features that are announced. There are a couple of intriguing ones this year, like improved smart home and media controls, and built-in screen recording, but there's nothing as major as Android 10's Dark Mode.

As well because the confirmed Android 11 features, Google always adds small tweaks and quirks to its updates that it doesn't always detail, so as more of those get discovered by intrepid users, we'll add them to the present list.

Finally, like most Android builds, Android 11 features a cool hidden Easter egg, and we have got a guide to how you'll access and use that.

If you have a low-end phone Android 11 won't come to you in the least - that's why Google also designed Android 11 (Go edition) which may be a lightweight version of the OS that works on handsets with 2GB or less of RAM. Phones running this version of Android 11 should start beginning soon.

How to download Android 11 immediately 

Cut to the chase

  1. What is it? the most recent Android OS 
  2. When did it launch? September 8, a minimum of on Pixel phones
  3. How much does it cost? Android 11 may be a free update

Android 11 release date

Google released Android 11 on September 8, 2020 - we were expecting this date because of leaks from the corporate, but Google itself didn't build up much fanfare for the new OS.

Well, September 8 marked the discharge of Android 11 on Pixel phones, but if you own a handset from a corporation aside from Google, you will have to attend.

Manufacturers with custom forks of Android will now get to build their own versions of Android 11, then roll them bent their smartphones - that would be quick, for newer flagships, but if you have an older or mid-range handset you would possibly be waiting a short time.

We'll update this text when more phones get Android 11 unrolled.

Android 11 compatible phones

These are the phones that are currently compatible with Android 11:

Google Pixel 2 / 2 XL

Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL

Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL

Google Pixel 4 / 4 XL

Google Pixel 4a

Xiaomi Mi 10 / Mi 10 Pro

Android 11 features

Below are all the key features Google has confirmed are in Android 11:

Android 11 screen recorder (Image credit: Google / TechRadar)

Built-in screen recording

Android 11 brings a feature some custom Android forks have already got - built-in screen recording. This allows you to use easily-accessible controls within the phone to make a video of what is on your screen, almost like screenshots.

You can even record the sound of your phone, or use the mic to narrate what you're doing, so this could be an excellent feature for creating a short-form video like TikToks, or for creating tutorial videos to assist less tech-savvy relatives to make the foremost of their smartphone.

Related to this, the Android 11 sharing functions have seen wider rollout to apps, so you'll easily copy and paste images, text, and videos from one app and send them straight to a different.

New conversations tab

When you swipe down from the highest in Android 10, you bring down your notification bar - well, in Android 11, that's split into two sections, consisting of your notifications, and your 'conversations'.

These conversations are basically just chatted notifications from chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter, so you recognize they're probably more worth listening to than the opposite notifications.

This way you'll easily see if people need you, and reply immediately too. you'll also now pin conversations to 'Bubbles' - you would possibly have seen these for Facebook Messenger, where a floating icon appears above other apps to point out you that you simply have a message.

Now you'll get messages from more apps to seem as bubbles, and you'll pin them there too therefore the chat is usually easily accessible.

A related improvement is that Gboard, the default Android keyboard, will now auto-fill forms with relevant information, almost like what Chrome currently does, which should save time if you're frequently filling out your information.

Android 11 media and smart home controlsAndroid 11 media and smart home controls (Image credit: Google / TechRadar)

Smart home and media controls

The new Android 11 update brings a lot of changes for people that use a lot of smart home devices.

From one easily-accessible menu (accessed by long-pressing the facility button) you'll control all the IoT (Internet of Things) devices you've got connected to your phone, also as NFC bank cards.

Talking of home, there is a new Bedtime Mode within the phone which you'll set to run during the night, which activates don't Disturb and makes the phone screen black-and-white to guard your vision.

There are new media controls too. It's now easier to form music play from other devices connected to your phone, like Bluetooth speakers or other gadgets.

Plus, Android Auto now works wirelessly on your car, saving you from having to twiddle wires to urge it to work. And on the subject of transport, now once you activate Airplane mode, any headphones connected via Bluetooth will stay connected, so you will not need to reconnect them.

Improved accessibility

Google has improved its Voice Access mode in Android 11, although there's not an excessive amount of information on what's changed.

Apparently, the hands-free mode is now 'faster and easier to use' - a much bigger change is that the mode now works offline, so you do not got to always be connected to use it. These changes should hopefully make Android 11 tons more accessible, letting people stay connected no matter disability.

A cool new mode is that the braille keyboard, so you'll write braille messages without having to shop for separate software.

Finally, the Lookout app now allows you to scan documents and food labels, so people with limited vision can still 'read' documents and see what's in their food.

Google Pixel 2 XLGoogle Pixel 2 XL (Image credit: Future)

Improved prediction tools

Android 11 will seemingly reduce the work you would like to try to on your phone, by predicting your habits and patterns.

One such example of this is often smart folders, so you'll let Android 11 automatically sort your apps into folders of comparable apps, like games or productivity tools.

App suggestions are additionally tweaked to suggest apps supported your routine - for instance, if you usually log onto your Fitbit app very first thing within the morning to look at your sleep habits, the phone will now automatically pop that app into the house screen within the morning so it's easily accessible.

Finally, apparently, the Smart Reply feature already usable in Android phones has received some tweaks. This mode suggests some automatic responses once you receive a message, letting you reply with one tap (if any of the responses are appropriate) but it isn't clear what's new here.

Security and privacy

The Android 11 update brings some changes to app permissions. Now, you'll grant an app permission to, say, your camera or location, on a one-off basis, rather than the prevailing options of 'all the time' and 'only while using the app'.

In addition, your phone will automatically revoke permissions for apps if you haven't used them during a while, so an app won't track your location if you forget you've got it downloaded, for instance.

Other useful features

There are a couple of new Android 11 features that don't fit into the above categories.

One of these is the best 5G detection, so if you're employing a 5G phone Android 11 apps will recognize this more easily, and run faster as a result.

On the subject of improved innovative software, Android 11 will now detect hinge angles on foldable phones, so apps can better run when your foldable phone isn't flat.

Picture-in-picture mode may be a useful way of watching videos while you are doing other things, and now it's easier to vary the dimensions of the window so you'll better fit whatever else you're doing.

There's a new 'Nearby Share' mode which allows you to easily send information and data to nearby devices like your tablet, Chromebook, or computer using Chrome, so you'll easily send a document from your phone to your PC, for instance.

Finally, you'll now see older notifications in settings, just in case you mistakenly swiped one away or ignored it for too long.

Android 11 Easter egg

The last part of our Android 11 guide will explore the Easter egg - new versions of Android always have one among these, and this one was discovered by users almost as soon because the beta unrolled.

This Easter egg is extremely almost like the one in Android 7, therein it gives you a pet cat to seem after. If that sounds weird, it is, but it's pretty fun too. If you would like to seek out out more for yourself, follow our guide below on the way to enable the Android 11 Easter Egg.

Firstly, head into the Settings app, then click About Phone, then Android Version, then repeatedly click where it says 'Android Version: 11'. If you are doing this right, the Android 11 logo should crop up, which may be a green dial.

Turn this dial clockwise from its default position to 11. this would possibly not work immediately, you would like to show it around an honest few times - if you cannot transcend 10, turn the dial back to 1, then turn it back to 11 again.

Some users report this working after three tries, but if it still doesn't work then keep trying. When it works, a small cat will crop up on the rock bottom of the screen.

Now you'll head over to the smart home control menu detailed above - if you skipped that section, you'll find the menu by long-pressing the facility button on the side of your phone.

Here you'll find options to interact with the cat, but if you've already mapped controls to the preset menu, the choices won't be visible - instead, attempt to add new controls, then click 'See Other Apps' to seek out the cat tools.

You can re-name your cat, and over time more cats might happen too.

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