Google starts rolling out Android 11 update to OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and RealMe phones featuring new privacy controls and a screen-recording tool
- Updated operating system offers users more control over their privacy settings
- Can now grant access to certain aspects of the phone just once, not always
- Also introduced new features to make conversations on various apps easier
Google has launched Android 11 and it comes with a host of new features, including additional privacy tools.
The latest update to the operating system will be live on Google’s own Pixel range first, as well as third-party adopters OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and RealMe.
Other manufacturers that use Android, including Samsung, will likely be upgrading to the new system in the coming months.
Google has launched Android 11 and it comes with a host of new features, including additional privacy tools
The updated operating system offers users more control over their privacy settings, such as the ability to grant single-use access, not just permanent, to apps.
Android 11 also comes with a useful reset function which takes all privacy and access settings back to their default if an app is not opened for a few months.
This will prevent companies from being able to harvest data and information from a user despite the app never being used.
A minor tweak will now force third-party apps wishing to use the phone’s camera to do so via the handset’s own built-in camera app.
Previously, some apps had their own version which opened a loophole and allowed the companies to extract more location data than the user had agreed to.
Customers will also be able to choose to have their conversations, once selected from the notifications bar, to pop out into bubbles. This will float over the screen and other apps in a similar way as Facebook has managed for Messenger
As well alterations to how conversations are displayed in the notifications bar, users can flag certain contacts and chats as ‘priority conversations’ which puts the sender’s avatar on the phone’s lock screen and bypass Do Not Disturb
Other tweaks to Android in 11 include moves to streamline day-to-day use of the operating system.
Because Android is now the world’s most popular mobile platform, used by some 2.5billion devices, Google’s updates are subtle and rarely feature a radical overhaul.
In trying to accommodate all its users around the world, it now has an exceptional amount of features and capabilities, which can make it feel crowded.
To combat this, Android has focused on the most common use of a smartphone in 2020 — messaging. Specifically, messaging on a plethora of different apps.
One of its new features will house conversations from various messaging platforms — including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter — in the notifications bar.
Customers will also be able to choose to have their conversations, once selected from the notifications bar, pop out into bubbles.
This will float over the screen and other apps in a similar way as Facebook has managed with Messenger.
However, as it is implemented by Android itself, it will work for any conversational app.
As well as this, users can flag certain contacts and chats as ‘priority conversations’ which puts the sender’s avatar on the phone’s lock screen.
People can also give these priority conversations the ability to bypass the Do Not Disturb features, meaning people will only get a notification from the people they really care about, while the riff raff gets blanked.
Other improvements include refining the screenshot process to look and behave more like on iOS and also finally implementing native screen recording, negating the need to install a third-party app to do this now basic function.