With the release of Android 11, Google revealed a set of features that they delivered to Pixel phones that won’t appear on phones from other manufacturers. This set of features is largely focused on allowing you to “focus on connecting with those close to you.” Features also include smart routine learning and suggestions editing as well as a new UI and controls for handling screenshots!
As a person who snaps screenshots on my smartphone several times a day, I appreciate that Google’s making an effort to make the screenshot experience more user-friendly. Once I snap a screenshot with this update, I’ll have several pathways.
One: Screenshot or Select. Using Select, I’m able to select any element on the screen I’ve just captured for further analyzation or action. If I select Screenshot, I’m offered two further pathways: Share or Edit. Editing remains simple – cropping, drawing, turning, and the like. I can share or delete from there.
Live View Location Sharing
The Live View Location Sharing feature added to Google Maps with Android 11 will be helpful if you’re out in the park or exploring a city with a friend, and you’ve become separated. This is going to be a whole lot more helpful once COVID-19 is under some measure of control and we’re back in a place where we’re once again amonst crowds of people.
Using Live View with Location Sharing in Google Maps, you’ll see your friends on a map with an icon. Tap the icon and you’ll have the ability to show your friend’s relative direction via augmented reality – little “THIS WAY” arrows appear when you turn to the left or the right.
Smart folder name suggestions
This is a minor update, but it’s nice to see. Once you place more than one app in a folder, you’ll see several suggestions based on the sort of app you’ve added to said folder. If you’ve used a Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone in the past, you might’ve had a similar feature in play.
Smart Reply on Gboard
While not available for all chat apps, and only available in English, this new Smart Reply makes simple the typing of replies to tiny questions from friends. You could potentially have a whole conversation with a friend without typing a word – just tap the suggested replies!
Your Google Pixel phone can learn your daily routine and recommend apps for you based on factors like time of day. We’ll be testing this system extensively to see what other factors are taken into consideration. In the morning, we’ll likely see Spotify or another podcast app suggested for our morning commute, while at lunchtime we’ll probably see Instagram placed in the predicted apps row.
Android 11 update download released
If you own a Google Pixel smartphone that’s generation 2 or newer, you’ll have access to Android 11 today. If you want to check on your current status re: Android 11, head to Settings – System – Advanced – System Update. Google Pixel phones are joined in Android 11 by phones from OPPO, Realme, Xiaomi, and OnePlus today too!