The new AirTag sensors have raised privacy concerns that Apple’s hoping to address.
Apple has announced a handful of changes designed to improve the privacy of AirTag item trackers. The company is adjusting the time it takes for AirTags to sound an alert after being separated from their owner, and Apple plans to release an Android app for detecting AirTags later this year.
Apple said it’s adjusting its approach to its AirTags sensors, changing the time they play an alert when separated from their owner, and also creating new ways to warn people an unexpected AirTag or Find My network-enabled device is nearby.
The tech giant said Thursday it’s begun sending out updates to its AirTags, changing the window of time they’ll make noises when potentially being used to track another person. Initially, the Apple device would play in three days. Now it’ll begin to play at a random time inside a window that lasts between 8 and 24 hours.
To further reassure people about its AirTags, Apple said it’s developing an app for Android devices that will help people “detect” an AirTag or Find My network-enabled device that may also be unsuspectedly “traveling” with them. Apple iPhones alreadyhave a similar alert system built into their devices. The Android app will be released later this year.
“The recent introduction of AirTag included industry-first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking,” Apple said in a statement. The company added that its moves, which come a week before its online Worldwide Developers Conference event, represent a continued commitment to improve AirTags privacy and security.
The company is also developing an app for Android users that will alert them to an AirTag potentially moving with them. The app will also detect other Find My-enabled accessories.
To further reassure people about its AirTags, Apple said it’s developing an app for Android devices that will help people “detect” an AirTag or Find My network-enabled device that may also be unsuspectedly “traveling” with them. The app will be released later this year.
“The recent introduction of AirTag included industry first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking,” Apple said in a statement. The moves, it added, represent a continued commitment to improve AirTag’s privacy and security.
It does not sound like this application will allow Android users to set up and use AirTag. Instead, the app will be used to alert Android users to when an AirTag could be moving with them. AirTag features an NFC chip inside that Android users can already use to identify an AirTag, but this app will allow Android users to receive proactive alerts to alert them to unwanted tracking.
The updates comes after some concerns were raised about the privacy and stalking implications of AirTag. Tests performed by the Washington Postfound that AirTag stalking was “frighteningly easy,” despite privacy protections put in place by Apple. A review from Mashablealso raised concerns about the privacy implications of the item tracker.
Shortly after AirTags were released, however, privacy advocates raised concerns the devices could be used as a way to stalk people. Unlike other tracking devices sold by competitors such as Tile and Samsung, Apple’s AirTags benefit from the company’s Find My network, with over 1 billion active iPhones and other Apple devices quietly communicating and sharing the location of any AirTags nearby. And The Washington Post reported in May that although Apple’s privacy features are stronger than competitors, its testing found that those protections may not be enough to protect unwitting victims.
Apple believes it’s creating a deterrent to abuse by adjusting the amount of time before an AirTag alerts a nonowner to its presence, effectively introducing uncertainty to how they will work. The company’s also already built in warnings into iPhones to alert people about AirTags traveling with them that they may not be aware of. And the unique identifying codes for each AirTag are frequently changed, and their communication is encrypted, which Apple says deters hacking and other unintended tracking efforts.
If someone finds an unwanted AirTag traveling with them, they can tap it with an iPhone or other near-field communication-capable phone to receive instructions on how to disabled the AirTag.
Apple said its updates for AirTags began Thursday, and will be automatically applied when in range of an iPhone. The company declined to provide more details about its upcoming AirTags and Find My accessory detection app for Android, saying it’ll share more details later this year.
Android 11 brings much-needed privacy and security features alongside exciting UI changes.
Android 11 continues to push Google’s vision of Android forward. With Android 11, Google is making a few tweaks to refine the platform instead of making wholesale changes. Privacy is a big focus with Android 11, with Google introducing one-time permissions and granular control over what sort of data you share.
There are new features to get excited about as well — the power button menu picked up a massive overhaul, the Conversations view does a great job highlighting your messages, and there are little tweaks throughout the interface that give it an added polish.
Android 11 is powering the best Android phones of 2021, and manufacturers are doing a better job rolling out the update to their 2020 phones. So here’s everything you need to know about all the new features in Android 11, and when your phone will receive the update. We also highlight what’s on the horizon with Android 12; Google just rolled out the first public beta, introducing a radical new UI and exciting new features.
Is Android 11 available for my phone?
Following months of Developer Previews and Betas, Google launched the final build of Android 11 on September 8, 2020. The update was available for Pixel phones on day one as per usual. This year, Android 11 was also available on the same day for select handsets from the likes of OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme.
That’s a big step forward for Android updates as a whole, but there’s also still plenty of work that’s left to be done. Samsung is now rolling out One UI 3.0 based on Android 11 to its flagships and mid-range devices, but the likes of Motorola, Nokia, Sony, and others are yet to roll out the update.
While that’s certainly annoying, we’re making things as easy as possible for you by tracking any and all Android 11 updates as we learn more about them.
What’s going on with Android 11 on non-Pixel phones?
As noted above, this year’s Android update rollout was a bit different compared to past releases. Instead of Pixels being the only phones treated to the new software, handsets from other select manufacturers were also treated to Android 11 in some form.
Let’s first look at Samsung, which is marketing its Android 11 update as One UI 3.0/3.1. Most of the core design principles remain in place, but there is a lot that’s new to check out. Samsung’s touting things like an improved lock screen, a more customizable always-on display, new accessibility tools, and more.
Samsung has already delivered the Android 11 update to most of its 2020 phones, and is now working its way down the list to its 2019 phones. It shifted to the One UI 3.1 build in recent months that debuted on the Galaxy S21 series.
We should also mention OxygenOS 11, which is the Android 11 update for OnePlus phones. OxygenOS 11 introduced a major design shift for OnePlus, with the company moving away from its stock Android aesthetic and embracing design elements found in Samsung’s One UI interface. OnePlus rolled out the OxygenOS 11 stable build with the 8T, and the Android 11 update is now available for the OnePlus 8 series, 7 series, and set to make its way to the 6/6T. The stable build is also making its way to the Nord shortly.
Nokia has also kicked off its Android 11 update rollout, with the Nokia 8.3 5G picking up the stable update starting February 8. HMD has lagged behind in this area over previous years, but with the Nokia 8.3 now on Android 11, we should see the update rolling out to other Nokia devices in the coming months.
Then there’s Xiaomi. The stable MIUI 12 update based on Android 11 is now rolling out to the Mi 10 series and Redmi Note 9 devices and should make its way to other Xiaomi phones very soon. We’ve rounded up Xiaomi’s Android 11 rollout timeline to make it easier for you to learn when your phone will get the update.
Motorola has kicked off the Android 11 update to the foldable Razr 5G starting April 15. LG has also started to roll out the Android 11 update, with the V60 and the Velvet receiving the stable build. Although LG will no longer make phones, it has stated that it will deliver the Android 12 and Android 13 updates to its current portfolio.
Lastly, we have ColorOS — the custom Android interface used on OPPO smartphones. ColorOS 11 is rolling out now to OPPO devices, and it offers a lot of exciting improvements. In addition to the usual Android 11 goodies, some other highlights include a customizable dark mode, a power-saver mode to extend battery life, and a new feature called OPPO Relax 2.0 that aims to help you unwind and fall asleep at night.
Where can I learn more about Android 11?
We’ll dive into some of Android 11’s biggest features below, but before we do any of that, we should address the elephant in the room — is Android 11 any good? The short answer, yes — it is very, very good, as per our Android 11 review.
Understandably, some people may find Android 11 boring or not very different from Android 10, but the fact of the matter is that Android no longer needs massive overhauls every year the way it used to. The core Android experience is darn good, and Android 11 elevates it even more. All of the conversation improvements are great for streamlining notifications, more powerful permissions are always something we’re happy to see, and the new power button menu adds a ton of extra functionality.
There are a couple of changes we aren’t completely in love with (namely the new multitasking window and Suggested Apps feature for the home screen), but those things are easy to overlook. The vast majority of what Google did with Android 11 was for the better, and the result is software that’s more functional and enjoyable to use.
How do Android 11 chat bubbles work?
As mentioned above, there isn’t one single overhaul or massive change found with Android 11. Instead, it’s a mix of many small tweaks here and there. A few of them focus on improving your messaging experience, with Google offering a lot in this department.
First on the list, we have chat bubbles. Similar to what Facebook’s offered for years with its Messenger app on Android, chat bubbles in Android 11 hide your ongoing conversations in little bubbles on the side of your screen. You can move the bubbles around, and tapping on them reveals that specific conversation. The Bubbles API is available for all messaging apps, with Google encouraging developers to adopt it.
In another effort to make sure you can get to your messages as quickly as possible, Android 11 introduces a dedicated conversation section in your notification shade that offers instant access to any ongoing conversations you have. It also makes it easier for your messaging notifications to stand out from others, ensuring you never miss an important text ever again.
Speaking of messages and notifications, Android 11 makes it possible to send images directly from the notification shade when replying to a message.
What’s new with permissions in Android 11?
Looking back on Android 10, one of its highlights was its improved handling of app permissions. Android 10 gave users more control over applications and what they could access, and Android 11 keeps this train rolling with a wonderful new addition.
Now, when an app asks for permission to use sensitive features like your location, microphone, or camera, you can choose to only grant it access on a one-time basis. The app will be able to use that permission during that instance of you using the app, but the permission is revoked as soon as you leave it. The next time you use the app, and it wants to use that permission, it needs to be granted access again.
Giving apps permission to these aspects of your phone should not be taken lightly, so we’re thrilled to see Google giving users more control over their data like this.
Does Android 11 have a built-in screen recorder?
For the past few Android releases, we’ve been patiently waiting for Google to add a built-in screen recorder. It’s not something you’ll use every day (if ever for some people), but the fact that such a basic function isn’t baked into Android at its core is getting annoying.
Thankfully, Android 11 finally changes that. This Android version does include the feature, accompanied by a clean UI and toggles for recording audio and showing touches with your recording.
There’s not much else to say about this, other than the fact that we’re glad we can finally put this feature request to bed.
Is Android 11 compatible with folding phones?
If there’s been a place of notable advancement in the Android space, it’s been with displays. Companies are doing what they can to offer the best and most exciting smartphone screen possible, and as great as this is, Android needs to catch up with better support for all of these advancements.
Folding phones are proving to be quite popular so far, and especially with devices like the Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola RAZR that have the “flip phone” folding design, Android 11 adds the “hinge angle sensor API” so apps can easily detect the hinge of these folding phones. With this information, developers can adapt their apps to work around the hinge and create unique experiences because of that (like how Google Duo changes its UI when you do a half-fold on the Z Flip).
The other big upgrade displays have seen has to do with faster refresh rates. It’s no longer uncommon for phones to ship with screens that refresh at 90Hz or 120Hz, and Android 11 allows developers to take better advantage of these powerful displays. Developers can select which refresh rate their services should run at, and if the developer determines their app looks best at 90Hz or 60Hz, they can make that decision and have the phone’s display change its refresh rate accordingly when using that app.
How does Android 11 work with 5G?
5G is finally starting to make its way to people, and more and more folks have started connecting to the next generation of wireless data. To ease the transition, Android 11 adds a very important “Dynamic Meterdness API.”
That may not sound very exciting on paper, but it essentially allows phones to take full advantage of all the power 5G brings.
If the API detects that you’re connected to an unlimited 5G signal, you’ll access the highest possible quality for videos and graphics. The potential for 5G is pretty darn cool, and this API ensures you take full advantage of the speeds available to you.
What phone should I get for the best Android 11 experience?
Whether you want to be among the first to get Android 11 or experience it the way Google intended, the Pixel 5 is the phone for you. It’s the newest flagship Pixel currently available, and if you prefer metal over plastic or glass, it’s a hard phone to ignore.
The Pixel 5 is all about delivering a flagship-quality Android experience for a relatively low price, and in these regards, it succeeds tremendously. Google crammed a lot into the Pixel 5, including phenomenal cameras, an OLED display, good performance, long battery life, and more. The design is a little plain, but the phone’s also a great size for one-handed use.
Best of all, the Pixel 5 and other Pixel devices get quarterly Feature Drops from Google, bringing new features to the Android 11 experience without requiring a full-scale platform update.
When is Android 12 coming?
The Android 12 public beta is now live, and the OS is the biggest visual change in Android’s history. Google is rolling out the new Material You design aesthetic, giving you much better customizability and new privacy features.
The key highlight is that you now have a color palette that lets you change system-wide colors to your liking, including the notification shade, volume controls, lock screen, and more. The notification shade has a cleaner design, and there’s a dedicated snooze button that lets you mute notifications with ease.
Android 12 is also set to add scrolling screenshots, but the feature isn’t quite live at this moment. And while the home screen UI itself is unchanged from Android 11, there’s now an option to set a 4×5 grid. You can also easily share Wi-Fi with Nearby Share, making it easier for others to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
This year’s Android 12 update is shaping up to be Google’s biggest release in years, judging by all the cool new features we’re finding. Earlier today, XDA Recognized Developer and friend of the site Quinny899 gave us our first look at Android 12’s hidden Conversation widget, but that’s not the only feature he enabled. Thanks to some reverse engineering, he managed to get Google’s hidden Gaming Dashboard feature working. It’s currently extremely barebones and only has a floating toolbar with two non-functional buttons, but it’s our first look at yet another unreleased Android 12 feature.
As you can see in the screenshot below, two icons are overlaid on top of the screen: A record icon and a controller icon.
According to the code for Gaming Dashboard contained within Android 12’s SystemUI, the record button simply starts a screen recording session. That’ll be useful when you want to record your screen without interrupting gameplay by pulling down the Quick Settings panel. As for the button with the controller icon, we don’t know what it’ll do because it doesn’t work and there’s no obvious functionality tied to it in the code.
The Gaming Dashboard classes are part of the com.google.android.systemui namespace rather than com.android.systemui, which suggests this feature may be Pixel-exclusive. However, many OEMs already have their own Gaming Mode features, and there’s nothing about this version that stands out right now. Before the first Developer Preview dropped, we learned that Google is working on a game mode for Android 12. We don’t know if this new Gaming Dashboard and the Game Mode we heard of are one and the same, or if the former is simply a feature built on top of the new GameManager service. We’ll probably learn more information from subsequent Android 12 Developer Previews, though.
The Android 12 beta contains a hidden game mode within Digital Wellbeing.
This feature will allow mobile gamers to take screenshots, record gameplay, live-stream, and more.
We first heard murmurings in February that Android 12 could support a game mode, following in the footsteps of a ton of OEMs that already offer this feature. Now, it looks like the Android 12 beta does indeed have a game mode hidden away.
Redditor Kilarasx discovered the game mode by tapping Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Do Not Disturb > Schedules. Alongside the expected “sleep” and “event” schedules for Do Not Disturb functionality, there’s a “Game Mode” schedule. We were able to find this on our Pixel 4 running the Android 12 beta — check out the screenshots below and the featured image above.
It looks like this is near-identical to the menu found by XDA with the third Android developer preview. Tapping the gear icon takes you to the game mode menu (image on the right), showing six options in total. The four options at the top are taking a screenshot, recording the screen, presumably viewing the frames per second, and activating/deactivating Do Not Disturb.
All these options bar the FPS toggle seem to work right now, with the screen recorder tool also letting you choose the audio you’d like to record (microphone, device audio, or both) and whether you want touches to be displayed.
Meanwhile, the bottom two options allow you to optimize the game you’re currently playing or stream your session via YouTube Live. The former doesn’t appear to work right now, and I didn’t meet YouTube’s requirements for mobile live streaming.
Presumably you won’t have to dig to find the game mode in the final version of Android 12, as this would be a very inconvenient departure from manufacturer implementations. Many manufacturers automatically display a game mode/tools via a small screen overlay, floating toolbar, or in the notification shade when you’re playing a game.
XDA-Developers previously posted an early Android 12 screenshot showing a floating toolbar for games, so it seems like Google is/was thinking about a similar approach as OEMs.
The stable version of Android 11 was released a few months ago, and while it isn’t the most revolutionary update we’ve ever seen, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about it. Whether you’re looking forward to the new conversation notifications, chat bubbles for messaging apps, or the upgraded permission handling, it may be a while before you can actually start messing around with all of these software goodies.
The update is available for the Pixels and selects OnePlus phones, while the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 lineups have also received their One UI 3.0 update which is based on Android 11. We’ve rounded up all of the current info to help give you a better idea of when Android 11 will arrive on your device.
The timelines change based on manufacturer and region, but the list below should give you a broad overview of if and when you will get the Android 11 update on your phone.
The phrase “fast Android updates” is usually an oxymoron, but Google‘s lineup of Pixel phones is the exception to that rule. Whenever a new update or security patch is released, Pixels are the first-in-line for that software — making this one of the biggest benefits of owning a Pixel in the first place.
The Android 11 stable update is now available to download on all Pixels starting with the Pixel 2 series. Here’s the full list:
Samsung used to be one of those manufacturers that you couldn’t rely on for good software support, but within the last year, it’s improved significantly. Samsung announced that it’s now committed to three years of major OS updates for all of its flagship phones, starting with the Galaxy S10 series.
The company has been on a tear as of late, releasing the final version of One UI 3.0 (based on Android 11) to the likes of the Galaxy S20, Note 20, and even the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. A few other devices are seeing the update as well that weren’t exactly expected as soon as they have arrived.
We can look forward to all of the following phones to get an Android 11 update:
Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy S20 FE
Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Galaxy Note 10
Galaxy Note 10+
Galaxy Note 20
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Galaxy Z Fold 2
Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Galaxy A52 / A52 5G
Galaxy A72 / A72 5G
Galaxy A32 5G
Galaxy M31 / M31s
The Galaxy S9 series should be able to run Android 11, but Samsung revealed its roadmap for which devices would see the update. Sadly, the S9 was not on the list. However, the company did commit to bringing security updates to these devices for at least the next year.
As for the speed at which Samsung will roll out Android 11 to its phones, we’re anticipating the update to drop within a few months of the initial launch. Google introduced Android 10 on September 3, 2019. The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S9 got the update in December and January, and Samsung has been following the same trajectory with Android 11 for its enormous lineup of smartphones, with many devices being updated in late December 2020 or throughout January and into February 2021.
What started out as a small enthusiast brand has transformed itself into a mainstream player in the U.S. smartphone space. OnePlus kicks out some of the best Android phones, and thankfully, it’s quite good when it comes to updating them to new software builds.
OnePlus is rolling out the Android 11 stable update to the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. There’s a new visual layout in OxygenOS 11, along with a host of exciting features.
Despite seeing a few issues with the official OxygenOS 11 rollout for the OnePlus Nord, it seems that everything is back on track.
Here are the OnePlus devices that will make the switch to Android 11:
OnePlus 9 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition
OnePlus 7T Pro
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
OnePlus 7 Pro
OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
With the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro making their arrival, that adds a couple of more devices that are running Android 11. Plus, both of those devices will see the update to Android 12 and at least Android 13. Which is more than we can say about the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 which are slated for only one major Android release. Meanwhile, those are still running Android 10, and the company has not given any indication as to when Android 11 will come to the budget-friendly handsets.
OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T owners who have been waiting patiently for the arrival of Android 11 will have to keep waiting a little bit longer. The company has confirmed that the Android 11 update won’t be arriving until after the release of Android 12, which is currently slated to launch this fall.
Xiaomi is one of the world’s largest phone manufacturers, and the brand has turned its attention to Western markets in the last two years. Xiaomi sells phones from $100 all the way to $1,200, and it has made a name for itself as the go-to player for value.
The company has already pushed the Android 11 update live for owners of the Xiaomi Mi 10 and has turned its focus onto the Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro. A new beta program has opened for these devices, as Xiaomi continues to bring the latest version of Android to its vast lineup of smartphones.
Based on a post that showed up on Xiaomi‘s MIUI community forums, the Android 11 update will be going out to 30 models across Xiaomi, POCO, and Redmi product lines. More phones will be added to the list, but for now, these are the Xiaomi phones that will be updated to Android 11:
OPPO is also turning its attention to Western markets. The Chinese manufacturer made a lot of changes to its ColorOS interface over the last 12 months, making it more palatable to a global audience.
OPPO has introduced ColorOS 11 based on Android 11 in closed beta for the Find X2 series and the Reno 3 Pro series, with a stable update slated to arrive before the end of the year.
We have a tentative timeline for when OPPO phones will get the ColorOS 11 beta based on Android 11. These are the OPPO devices that have already received the update to ColorOS 11:
A74 / A74 5G
Find X2 / X2 Pro
Find X3 Pro
Reno 2 F
Reno 4 5G
Reno 4 Pro 4G / Pro 5G
Reno 5 Lite
Reno 5 Pro+
Reno 5 Pro 5G
Reno 5 Z
Note that these are the expected timelines for the beta builds and not the stable update:
From October: Reno 4 Pro 5G
From November: Reno 4 5G, Reno 4 Pro 4G
From December: Reno 4 4G, F11, F11 Pro, F11 Pro Avengers Edition, A9, A92, A72, A52, Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition
From Q1 2021: Reno 10x Zoom, Reno 2, Reno 2F, Reno 2Z, Reno 3 Pro 5G, A91, F15
From Q2 2021: Reno, Reno Z, A5 2020, A9 2020
When will my Realme phone get Android 11?
Realme is also doing a closed Android 11 beta based on Realme UI 2.0 for the X50 Pro. Realme UI 2.0 comes with a host of new features, but at this moment, there’s no indication of when the stable build will be made available.
We don’t know how many Realme phones will be updated to Android 11, but most devices released in the last 18 months should qualify for the update. Here’s the list:
Although Huawei phones aren’t very common/popular in the United States, the manufacturer gets a lot of attention in other parts of the world.
Huawei‘s Android 11 update will take the form of EMUI 11, and the company has finally shared its roadmap for what devices will receive this update. The list is surprisingly long, with even some tablets getting in on the Android 11 action.
There are a lot of Huawei phones we expect to get Android 11/EMUI 11, including:
Huawei Mate 40 series
Huawei P40 series
Huawei P30 series
Huawei Mate 30 series
Huawei Mate 20 series
Huawei Mate X/Xs
Huawei Nova 5T
Regarding how fast those updates will be pushed out, you’ll likely have to wait a few months. The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro received Android 10 in mid-November, shortly followed by the Mate 20 series.
This past year has been an exciting one for Motorola. The company is still churning out high-quality budget devices, and alongside those, we’re seeing Moto‘s return to the flagship space. However, it’s still straggling behind in an area that’s been a pain point for years — software updates.
After staying mum for a little while, Motorola finally revealed which of its latest devices will be receiving an update to Android 11, and the list is as follows:
Motorola RAZR / RAZR 5G
Moto G Stylus
Moto G Power
Moto G Fast
Moto G 5G / 5G Plus
Moto G Pro
Motorola One Fusion / Fusion+
Motorola One Hyper
Motorola One Zoom
Motorola One Action
Motorola One Macro
Motorola One 5G
Moto G8 Plus
Moto G8 Power
Moto G40 Fusion
Moto G9 Play
Moto G9 Plus
Moto G9 Power
Lenovo K12 Note
That’s a solid list at first glance, but it comes with a big caveat. For every phone but the Edge+ and RAZR, Android 11 is the one and only software update they’ll receive. There’s also the fact that Motorola took its time with the Android 10 update, with the platform version not coming to the Moto G7 until May 11, 2020.
Keeping with the theme of manufacturers that often drop the ball for software updates, we have LG. With no update roadmap in place, here are the devices we think will get Android 11:
Android 10 was made available for the LG G8 in December 2019, with the LG V50 starting its Android 10 update in February 2020. We don’t consider that to be a fast turnaround time, but it is better than what we usually see from LG.
Our fingers are crossed that LG gets even faster with rolling out Android 11, but we’ll have to wait and see if that pans out.
Nokia has announced its Android 11 update schedule, with the first slate of devices set to receive the update by the end of 2020. While Nokia’s devices fall under the Android One initiative, phones like the Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 9 PureView won’t get the Android 11 update until Q2 2021.
After officially rolling out Android 11 to the Nokia 8.3 5G, the company’s Chief Product Officer took to Twitter, suggesting that the rollout would be coming much quicker than expected for the rest of Nokia’s devices. Only time will tell if that’s to be believed, but Nokia seems to be sticking to its timeline that was laid out late in 2020.
Google is set to release its next major version of Android — Android 12 — later this year, following a series of Developer Previews and Betas that will likely start rolling out later this month. Ahead of the stable release, Google shares documentation and source code with its major partners in order to give them time to prepare for the release. Today, an alleged early draft of a document that Google made to summarize changes in Android 12 leaked online, and screenshots showcasing the new UI and functional changes were extracted from the document. While we can’t fully confirm the authenticity of these screenshots, we have seen evidence that the document in question is, in fact, real, and furthermore that these screenshots indeed came from said document. With that in mind, here’s what we’re seeing right now.
One of the alleged Android 12 screenshots showcases a new notifications panel UI. The transparency is gone and replaced with an opaque light beige background, though the color likely depends on the current theme and/or whether or not Dark Mode is enabled. The separation between the “conversations” section with the rest of the notifications is still there, and the rounded corners of each notification are now more pronounced. The number of Quick Settings tiles that are shown when the notification panel is partially expanded has been reduced from 6 to 4, causing each icon to become larger. The positions of the date and clock have been swapped, while there are also new privacy indicators in the top right-hand corner.
Speaking of which, it seems that Google may add new privacy features in Android 12. In the new Android version, you may receive a warning in the form of status bar indicators whenever an app is using the camera or microphone. Tapping on these status bar icons may show a pop-up at the top of the screen that tells you exactly which app(s) are using the camera or microphone. Google has been testing these privacy chips for over 2 years now, so it would be nice to see them finally make an appearance in Android 12.
Related to this change is an alleged revamp to the “Privacy” settings in Android 12. The new Privacy settings may contain toggles to disable the camera and mute the microphone entirely, in addition to toggling location access. You can already disable all sensors on your device by using the “sensors off” Quick Setting tile, but this tile can only be shown once you enable Developer Options. Android 12 may make these sensor toggles more user-accessible by placing them in the Privacy settings.
Lastly, we have what appears to be a new addition to Android’s widget selection. When Apple recently added widgets to iOS, we argued that they’re better than Android’s implementation in some ways. While we don’t know if Google is planning a major overhaul of widgets, it does look like they at least plan to make a few changes. In a few screenshots, we can see an alleged new “Conversations” widget in Android 12 that may highlight recent messages, missed calls, or activity statuses. The widget that’s shown is small and only seems to be big enough to accommodate showing one message/call/status at a time in its smallest size.
One of the documents we viewed shortly after the publication of this article reveals that Google plans to make “conversation widgets” a mandatory feature for all Android 12 devices. These widgets provide access to “People Shortcuts” which contain an avatar, name, notification content, and status information, all set in the PeopleManager class.
According to a screenshot of the document we viewed, Google is also planning to mandate the inclusion of camera and microphone indicators in Android 12. These indicators must be shown prominently at the top of the screen, always be visible whenever the camera or microphone is being accessed, and must have the same color across the ecosystem. We don’t know what other changes will be mandated until we get our hands on the full Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for Android 12.
Again, since we haven’t received the full document in question, we can’t 100% verify the authenticity of these images. However, the screenshot we received of the document comes from a trusted source who has, in recent times, shared other confidential documents with us. If we receive more evidence corroborating these alleged screenshots of Android 12, we’ll follow-up in a separate post. We also asked Google to comment on this leak and will update this article if we hear back.
If you’re interested in learning more about what’s in store in the next major Android release, check out XDA Android 12 tag. We expect there’ll be a better theming system, decoupled emojis, an app hibernation feature, and many more features that have yet to be uncovered. When Google unveils its first Developer Preview in the next few weeks, don’t expect to see all of these changes show up. That’s because the builds that Google releases prior to its I/O developer conference tend to miss out on a lot of the more interesting user-facing features.
Thanks to XDA Senior Member RKBD for bringing these images to our attention, and thanks to their tipster (who wishes to remain anonymous) for their help in corroborating these images!
Ever since Android 11 rolled out, users have been facing issues while trying to connect a gaming controller with their smartphones. According to the reports, phones running Android 11 are either not able to recognize controllers as input devices or they don’t let users map their keys properly.
As per a thread regarding the bug on the official Android Issue Tracker, several Pixel users and beta testers are facing the issue and they’re not able to use Bluetooth game controllers like the Xbox One controller, Sony’s DualShock 4, and even Google’s own Stadia controller with their devices. While a vast majority of the reports are from Google 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 4, and Pixel 4a owners, a few Samsung and OnePlus users running Android 11 builds have also reported similar behavior.
As of now, there is no confirmation as to what exactly is causing the issue. But it’s worth noting that Google had already acknowledged the issue back in August 2020, right when the initial Android 11 builds started reaching users. Currently, it seems that the development team is still trying to figure out the underlying cause and is working to bring a solid solution.
While Google hasn’t figured out a solution yet, some users have shared temporary workarounds. According to a few reports, the issue can be fixed by turning off certain accessibility options. For instance, a user suggests, “Can confirm, there’s a certain accessibility service that, if I disable it, controller immediately starts working, no reboot or anything. I can actually task switch back and forth from Stadia back to Settings, disable that one service on Accessibility, back to Stadia, and controller works; switch back to Settings, enable, back to Stadia, it’s suddenly dead just like before. That’s with no rebooting, no pairing or conn/disconnecting controllers, nothing.”
In case you’re facing the issue, you can try the workaround mentioned above. Until then, all we can do is wait for Google to address the issue and release a fix in a future update.
Android 11 has been out for over a month now and OEMs have already started working on their in-house OS updates.
However, the latest OS update brings along its own set of issues and Google Pixel devices appear to be the most affected for the time being.
It was reported recently that Pixel users were experiencing excessive battery drain and performance issues after the Android 11 update.
Now, several Pixel users and beta testers are reporting issues related to Bluetooth game controllers like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and more after updating their devices to Android 11.
Reports clearly indicate that users are unable to connect and use game controllers via Bluetooth and the devices are getting listed as other devices.
Multiple Pixel 2, Pixel 3, and Pixel 4 series users have reported on Google IssueTracker that such issues occurred only after the Android 11 update.
While the game controller issues have been to the developers, it is unclear how long it will take to fix these problems.
However, it is good to see that the OEM has promptly acknowledged these issues on a wider scale, hence, fixes will also arrive accordingly.
In the meantime, a Pixel user has posted a temporary workaround for the connectivity problems on Reddit which seems to have fixed the issues for them.
The user has stated that after some manual troubleshooting they simply switched off the Magnification gestures on their Android 11 powered Pixel device which fixed the game controller issues.
Also, several other users have posted similar workarounds on Google IssueTracker suggesting that tweaking the Accessibility settings seems to be doing the trick.
Nevertheless, a proper fix will still be required and Pixel users running Android 11 will have to wait till Google addresses these issues.
Meanwhile, you can check out our Google Android 11 update and bug trackers to get the latest updates on the topics.
Moreover, we have curated a consolidated Android 11 update tracker for all major OEMs and carriers so be sure to go through it as well.
It appears that Samsung and OnePlus users who have installed the Android 11 update on their devices are also facing similar issues with gaming controllers. We’ve shared some a couple of reports from users below:
I am not able to use my PS4 controller on ONEPLUS 8T. I have managed to pair the controller and phone with Bluetooth but the phone won’t recognise any input. (Source)
I updated my note20 to android 11! Since the update I can’t connect my ps4 controller to call of duty mobile anymore and all so I’m having screen trouble (Source)
Google recently rolled out the January patch for supported Pixel phones, however, there is no indication that the problem was fixed. Therefore, it seems users may have to wait a bit longer before the problem is addressed.
When it came to note-taking apps on mobile, Evernote was one of the earlier entrants. They helped popularize the idea behind the ability to sync your notes and also collaborate with other people on the same note in real-time, but this does not necessarily mean that the app is for everyone.
Some of you might have different needs and maybe you’re seeking an alternative to Evernote. If you are, you’ve come to the right place because here are some worthy Evernote alternatives that you can check out for Android and iOS.
Notion might not necessarily be an app that you have heard of, but it doesn’t detract from the app’s value and potential. In addition to being a decent note-taking app, Notion pulls double and triple duty by being an app that can help manage your workflow through Kanban-styled boards, timeline views, and more.
OneNote is an app developed by Microsoft that’s designed to be a note-taking app. It is a pretty straightforward app and comes with some features that Evernote users might actually be familiar with, but that’s a good thing. It can also sync over Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service, so if you have an account, it can back it up to the cloud quickly and easily and you’ll be able to access it from other devices like a computer.
If you don’t need a full-fledged word processor like Google Docs and want something small and simple to jot down your notes, it would be remiss of us if we did not include Google Keep on this list. Given that this is a Google product, it quite easily integrates across Google’s other services, so if you’re tied into the Google ecosystem, this is a no-brainer.
Dropbox made a name for themselves as being a cloud storage service, but the company has been slowly expanding on its offerings and Paper is one of them. If you’re someone who uses Dropbox quite a bit, then using Paper would make a lot of sense as not only does it allow users to take down notes, but they can also sync it and collaborate with other users.
Simplenote, as the name implies, is a very simple and straightforward note-taking application. If you’re just looking for something that takes down notes well and can sync across a multitude of platforms (it’s also available on Linux), then Simplenote is a great alternative to Evernote.
These days as we work from home, being able to collaborate digitally and virtually is slowly becoming a necessity, and Notejoy excels in that regard. Users can quickly make changes to their notes and documents that can then be synced with other users in the team. There is also the ability to include reactions, threaded discussions, note views, and more.
If you’re looking to take your note-taking and productivity to the next level, there’s a good chance that you might have heard of the Todoist app. This is not only a note-taking app, but a planner, project manager, and reminder app all in one. You can use it to track your goals for your current projects, collaborate with other users, and it also integrates with other apps and services like Gmail, Slack, and more.
Motorola has announced which of its phones will receive an update to Android 11, along with some of the new features to expect. The list of phones is long; if you purchased a Motorola device in the past 12 months or so, chances are you’re covered.
Here’s the full list:
motorola razr 5G
motorola razr 2019
motorola one 5G
motorola one action¹
motorola one fusion
motorola one fusion+
motorola one hyper
motorola one vision
moto g 5G
moto g 5G plus
moto g fast
moto g power
moto g pro
moto g stylus
moto g9 play
moto g9 plus
moto g9 power
moto g8 power
Lenovo K12 Note
According to Motorola, Moto users should expect features like Chat Bubbles, streamlined device and media controls, and improved privacy settings. We also confirmed earlier this month that as part of Motorola’s Android 11 update, some of its phones will support a new Desktop Mode.
It’s unclear which Motorola devices will support the new mode, but we got a brief glimpse at it possibly running on the Moto G 5G Plus. Either that or it was the company’s upcoming Snapdragon 865-powered “nio” handset.
The plan right now is for Motorola to roll out Android 11 “in the coming months.” Unfortunately, we have no exact dates, and Motorola warned that its current plans could change. “This information communicated is not a commitment or an obligation to deliver any product, product feature, software update or functionality and Motorola Mobility reserves the right to change the content and timing of any product, product feature or software release,” Motorola wrote in a blog post.
Motorola said that the rollout of Android 11 is also influenced by partner support. Hopefully, we’ll see Motorola release Android 11 sooner rather than later. There’s a long list of devices expected to get the update, and we’re hoping Motorola can hit every one on the list.
Motorola released a list devices it plans to update to Android 11.
All of the phones on the list came out in either 2019 or 2020.
After all the disappointment 2020 brought with it, you might have hoped a company like Motorola would have tried to end the year on a high note. But that’s not to be the case. The company shared its Android 11 upgrade plans, and they’re no better than anything Motorola has put together over the past couple of years.
As you can see from the list below, if you own a Motorola phone that came out before 2019, don’t expect the company to push the latest version of Google’s operating system to your device. What’s more, even if you own a Moto phone from 2019 or 2020, you may end up waiting a while to get anything. Motorola says it will begin rolling out Android 11 “starting in the coming months, pending partner support.” In other words, expect a potentially long wait, particularly if you don’t own one of the higher-end devices on the list like the Razr 5G or Edge.
If you happen to own a Motorola One Action you bought in North America, you’re also out of luck. Motorola only plans to update the Latin American and European variants of that phone to Android 11 since it’s included in Google’s Android One program in those places. Even by Motorola’s lacklustre support standards, this is not a great showing for the company.
Thankfully, update lists like the one above may become less common in the future. Google and Qualcomm recently announced a partnership to deliver four years of support to future Snapdragon-equipped devices. That pledge is likely to help low-end and mid-range devices the most.
Only four months after officially announcing the One UI 3.0 update, Samsung already brought its custom Android 11 implementation to quite a few of its Galaxy devices. At least compared to the pace of its Android 10-based One UI 2.x deployment efforts which have been ongoing until this very month. And assuming we’re counting Android 11 beta builds, which we are.
As Samsung is expected to begin ramping up the development and release of various One UI 3.0 iterations, this is a fine time for us to start keeping detailed tabs on that endeavor. This would primarily constitute tracking the exact lineups and models that have already been updated, as well as the order in which that happened.
We will be updating this list on a regular basis, so feel free to bookmark it if you’re eager to embrace Samsung’s latest mobile OS ASAP. Our definition of that term is about to change soon, anyway, seeing how the One UI 3.1 update is right around the corner.
One UI 3.0 stable update release schedule for Galaxy devices in Egypt
Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy Note 10
Galaxy Note 10+
Galaxy Note 20
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy Z Fold 2
Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Galaxy Tab S7
Galaxy Tab S6
Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Galaxy A01 Core
Galaxy Tab A
Galaxy Tab S5e
Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Galaxy Tab Active Pro
This might not be the full list of devices, though, and we see that the Galaxy A50s, Galaxy S10e, and a few other phones are missing from the list. We will update the article when we find more information about the release schedule.
Galaxy devices that have received Android 11/One UI 3.x update
Galaxy S10 series (still in beta)
Galaxy Z Fold 2 (still in beta)
Galaxy S20 series
Galaxy Note 20 series
Galaxy Note 10 series (still in beta)
Android 11 is the eleventh major iteration of Google’s mobile operating system. The first developer preview was released in February 2020 with the public beta being scheduled for an announcement at Google I/O 2020 which was supposed to take place on June 3. However, the COVID19 pandemic forced Google to cancel the event and just release the beta online.
Many of our readers will now be curious to learn more about Android 11 for Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets. It will take some time before Samsung officially confirms which of its devices will get Android 11. However, we can make an educated guess on the devices that will be updated to the latest iteration of Android.
Samsung will most definitely release Android 11 for its devices with a new version of its One UI custom skin. Since One UI 2.5 will be released with Android 10, there’s a good chance that Samsung will release One UI 3.0 with Android 11.
Best Android 11 features
Google is focusing on enabling users to better take advantage of the latest innovations with Android 11 while also emphasizing privacy and security. There will also be enhancements for 5G, support for new screen types that utilize pinhole and waterfall design elements, machine learning enhancements and more.
New permission options are among the best Android 11 features. Users will be able to grant apps temporary access to sensitive data like microphone and camera with a one-time permission. The app will not be able to access that data once the user moves away from it.
Android 11 is going to simplify conversations with a dedicated conversations section in the notification shade. Bubbles will be used to keep conversations in view while multi-tasking on the phone. If an app supports image copy/paste, it will also be possible to insert images directly into notification inline replies.
A rather useful enhancement is that Airplane mode will no longer disable Bluetooth. This means that people who enable Airplane mode don’t have to open the notification shade again and reconnect their Bluetooth devices.
It’s not exactly easy to see previously dismissed notifications on an Android device. Google is set to change that with Android 11 which will have a Notification History option.
Android 11 on Samsung devices
These are some of the general Android 11 features and enhancements. Many of the user interface changes that Google has introduced to the core OS won’t be available on Samsung phones since the company applies its own custom skin.
There’s no information available right now about the new features and improvements that Samsung will bring with One UI 3.0. Some features that are new to Android 11 like a context-aware Dark mode and a native screen recorder are already present in existing One UI versions.
Android 11 beta for Samsung
Samsung devices don’t get developer preview builds of Google’s mobile operating system. However, the company itself launches a beta program so that it can get the latest Android version and the One UI version that will accompany it out in the hands of testers.
However, it will take some time before such a program is launched. For context, Samsung launched the Android 10 and One UI 2.0 beta in October last year, about a month after Google had released the stable Android 10 firmware for its Pixel smartphones. The Android 11 beta for Samsung can be expected to follow a similar timeframe.
Only Samsung’s latest devices are eligible to take part in the beta. So it will most definitely be open to the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 lineups. Samsung also opened up the beta to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 last year so it may do the same for the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 this time around.
Which Samsung devices will get Android 11
Samsung releases dozens of smartphones every year for every price segment of the market. Providing software support for all of these phones is no simple task. The company does guarantee two major OS upgrades for all of its smartphones. This means that any Samsung phone that shipped with Android 9.0 and Android 10 will be eligible for Android 11.
The company continues to release security updates for devices even when they have received their two major OS updates. It splits them between the quarterly and monthly release schedules. Samsung also releases security updates for devices older than three years as and when required. It will continue to do so after Android 11 arrives as well.
Check back for more on the Android 11 update for Samsung devices
We still have a few months until the Android 11 update is released for Samsung’s smartphones and tablets. Do keep checking back in with us to learn more about how the Android 11 update landscape for Samsung’s devices is evolving. We’ll continue to provide coverage on this topic and update you as and when there are new developments.
Samsung Galaxy devices eligible for Android 11 update
The devices listed below are currently expected to get Android 11. The list is based on Samsung’s policy of providing two major Android upgrades to all of its devices and three major upgrades for flagship and select mid-range devices, which means your device will probably get Android 11 if it came with Android 9 Pie or Android 10 out of the box.