After several beta releases, Google is now rolling out the official version of Android 11—and the company says that the first wave of updates is being pushed out to phones from OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi. In the past, new Android OS updates were usually first given to Google’s Pixel phones, which certainly adds to their appeal. Instead, Android 11 might just be the most widely-available first-day OS update in recent memory, according to Google’s official statement.
Along with security updates and so on, Android 11 will will bring a number of tools and upgrades that focuses on “the stuff that matters most”. That translates into a number of device controls such as built-in screen recording capability, Smart Replies, improved Voice Access, and easy-access media controls. As previously reported, an interesting new functionality that arrives with Android 11 is wireless compatibility for Android Auto. The best part? This works with all Android 11 devices—not just Google and Samsung smartphones.
Meanwhile, improved privacy controls on the latest Android version will give users the more control over app permissions—all in the name of protecting the personal data stored in your phone. This is something that users should already be familiar with, as many manufacturers opt to include this privacy setting within proprietary UIs (user interface). Additionally, permissions for apps that haven’t been used in awhile will be automatically reset for added safety.
Future security updates will also be sent to phones running on Android 11 via Google Play, which bypasses the wait-time that non-Pixel users have had to deal with for previous releases.
On a lighter note, Android 11 will also bring redesigned conversations to messaging apps. Basically, notifications for messages across multiple apps will be displayed together; you can also choose important conversations to display on the smartphone’s lock screen. The conversations are also displayed in more modern-looking “Bubbles”, which can be pinned to the top of screens or other apps.
While there are plenty of upgrades, it appears that Google’s latest Android update focuses more on streamlining certain features and functionality of phones running Android 11. However, this doesn’t mean the changes aren’t significant—although some of the new features might already be available via OEM skins or UIs.
From what we know, phone manufacturers are still releasing Android 11-powered software updates via beta releases. OnePlus has already confirmed that the full open beta of OxygenOS 11 (running on Android 11) is now available for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, while Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme have also announced preview/beta versions for Android 11 for selected smartphone models.
As such, it appears that the official Android 11 update will still be limited to Google’s Pixel-branded phones for now—contrary to what Google’s official statement says. That’s understandable, with manufacturers often requiring time to smooth out bugs and problems within their own UI, but perhaps some clarity is required from the search engine giants.