Six months have passed since Android 11 developer preview was released in February and at the time we noted enhancements for foldables and 5G, new call-screening APIs, new media & camera capabilities including animated HEIF support, as well as machine learning improvements.
Google has now officially released Android 11 that is currently rolling out to select Google Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme phones. More phones will be upgraded/supported in the future, and Google also introduced some Pixel-first features that will (initially?) end up on Pixel phones exclusively.
All Android 11 phones will support chat bubbles to message on top of other applications, built-in screen & audio, wireless Android Auto support with compatible cars, one-time permission for increased privacy, and more.
But Google may have changed strategy trying to make Pixel phones more attractive to prospective buyers and increase sales as the Android 11 release comes with the following Pixel-exclusive features:
- Live View with Location Sharing in Google Maps – If your friends have chosen to share their location with you, simply tap on their icon and then on Live View on the right side of your screen to see exactly where they are, and get directions placed right on top of your world so you can see exactly which way to go.
- Smart Reply on Pixel’s keyboard – Reply suggestions while chatting. Requires Gboard, and supports English only for now.
- App suggestions – Your phone will recommend apps you use at different times of the day using AI.
- Overview actions providing new ways to select text and images, or take a screenshot.
- Intelligent suggestions for folder names to better organize your home screen
The official Android 11 release also means you’ll find the factory and OTA images for supported devices in the usual location, Android 11 OS source code on the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP), and app developers can find resources to get started and upgrade their apps in the developer website.
If you do not own any compatible device, you can always run Android 11 in the Android emulator provided with Android Studio.