Android 11 Beta 1 Review: What You Need to Know
Android 11’s best features are A more useful power button menu. Dynamic media controls. A built-in screen recorder. Greater controls over conversation notification. Recall clear notification with notification history. Pin your favorite app on the share page. Schedule dark theme. Grant temporary permissions to the app.
Android 11 is officially available
There is no denying that there is a lot going on in Android P. The Android P beta is only available on Google Pixel devices, and will be ready to roll out in the third quarter of the year. For now, it’s still a developer preview, so there are a lot of things that the public will not be able to use. If you want to give it a shot, the first step is signing up for the Android Beta Program.
What’s new with the latest update?
At Google I/O, we learned about Android P’s new features. But they don’t just mean software. Instead, they’re small refinements to Android’s core apps and features. They’re things you can really feel. My favorite is the new battery menu. Rather than forcing you to dig through menus in the settings to find the relevant settings, Google just tells you what your battery does. All you have to do is click. This new menu displays battery stats such as the percentage of time your phone can stay on and start, how well the battery handles wireless and wired charging, and how well it handles all screen brightness and power saving modes.
The best features in Android 11
One of the best features of Android 11 is that it’s a complete overhaul of the operating system. While other Google mobile OSes have used incremental updates for the past couple of years, Android 11 is a brand new operating system, with a completely new design, numerous updates, and a new set of features. For example, Google announced a new version of Android that allows apps to run in a window. This means that if an app needs to do some sort of multitasking, such as accessing the camera or the Google Play Store, the app can open a full window that stays open even when the app is in another area of the screen. You can see how that works in the photo below. JR Raphael/IDG A screenshot showing a new Android feature called App Pane.
Why should you upgrade?
Well, there are a lot of things you could do with a new version of Android. You could finally ditch your old, slow, boring Samsung phone in favor of a new Pixel or a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact (have you used that one?). Or, you could use that spare device to help you test software for upcoming releases, like the 2019 update to macOS, which will make file management simpler and add new features for the Photos app. The latter is of particular interest to pro users. For instance, a utility called ToDo List may help you keep your new Mac or Windows PC organized with a neat, drag-and-drop experience that’s as attractive as Apple’s. For that matter, that’s true of a number of apps, such as PC-updater Xproto, which makes it simple to migrate Windows machines from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
If there’s one thing we can make sure of at this point, it’s that there will be a lot more Google Android variants before it all wraps up. With each release, Google is building on what came before, even going as far as to take Google Play services out of the main Android build and include it directly in Android itself. There’s a lot more that the company will be focusing on, but these are the biggest things coming in Android’s next big release.