Google has released the stable and final version of Android 11, a version that has already reached the Pixel. And we have been able to test it: no changes compared to beta 3, the system is more stable than ever, more private, includes the new device control and many more improvements.
The road until today has been long and with several stops along the way. First in the form of previous versions for developers, then as betas. In fact, there have been three betas that we have seen in Android 11: Google has already warned that the final version would be released before the end of the third quarter of 2020. And we have to welcome him because he arrives on time for the appointment that marked the last leak: Android 11 is already among us, a version that does not have excessive aesthetic changes with respect to Android 10 and that does focus on three pillars, privacy, stability and interaction.
Subtle design changes and deep under the hood
Making the leap from Android 10 to Android 11 does not suppose any visual shock since the system maintains the same design consistency, the same aesthetic language and the appearance is perpetuated, both in menus and icons as well as in the interface. This disappoints something at first, at least until the remarkable improvements that make the whole a great evolution are discovered.
The jump at the design level is not too visible since it was not necessary: Android 10 already inherited a mature design, so Google has not needed to go further. Even so, Android 11 is more pleasing to the eye, animations are more fluid and personalization is improved (the Pixels now include options to change the accent color, icon shape, styles and even fonts) and the area of notifications. Bubbles are fully integrated into the system and accessible to apps like Telegram or WhatsApp. Clicking on the small arrow in the lower right corner of the notification launches the notification app in the form of a floating window to be managed without leaving the application in the foreground.
In terms of design, there is an element that goes strong with Android 11 and that promises to facilitate access to the main elements of the phone: device control. Holding down the power button starts a screen with access to the power menu (upper zone), means of payment (central part) and home automation controls (lower zone).
Device control is highly customizable since it can be anchored from the access to the Google Nest to the light switch. Any device that is compatible with Google Assistant you can anchor yourself to this control center.
Another novelty regarding the management of devices is the control of multimedia output. With an icon on the app in play, in the notification area, a new selector pops up that allows you to choose the audio output, also the volume level. This makes it much easier to switch between headphones, speaker phone, or Bluetooth.
Strengthening privacy is key
With Android 10, Google has already significantly evolved the protection of user privacy. Options like automatic notification of those apps that access the location in the background they were well received, also very helpful. This is maintained in Android 11 while the management of sensitive permissions (use of accessibility, microphone and camera, for example) is improved, also passwords.
Gboard is in charge of managing password autocompletionIt is also possible to hide the revelation of characters by writing letter by letter each ‘password’. Google expands the number of APIs so developers do not have to ask for controversial permissions, Android 11 improves machine learning related to user interactions (responses and suggestions in applications) and is also more proactive with the keyboard. At first it is difficult to use Gboard as the default password manager.
Another major advance in privacy management are the single use permissions. Android 11 allows you to authorize an application to access the microphone, camera or location, but only once. In this way the permission will not be used in the background since the application will not have it. In addition, the system will gradually eliminate the permissions of those applications that are not used during the time in order to avoid the risk of the apps that are accumulating in the drawer.
Lots of small changes for a great version
As we said, the evolutionary leap is not enormous at first glance, but it is inside the system. Google has significantly improved user privacy and direct management from the device, all to make Android 11 the safest version to date. All without losing the simplicity of use and stability, nor the autonomy.
Android 11 improves the Artificial Intelligence of the operating system to reduce battery consumption and improve device stability (We have seen a considerably lower consumption with beta 3). It is more proactive, improves interaction with connected objects and the inclusion of the control center makes it much easier from paying to managing the volume of Google Home: everything is accessible with the simple gesture of keep the power button pressed. And with an exquisite aesthetic that perfectly matches the minimalist design of the Pixel interface.
Our first test of the stable version of Android 11 has been very satisfactory for more than the experience do not change excessively from the previous beta 3. You can see the jump with respect to Android 10, a jump that other mobiles apart from the Pixel will soon begin to experience. Or maybe not so soon, let’s hope that this new version of the system awaits a better panorama of updates, a thorn that Android has not yet managed to withdraw.
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