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What's new in Android 11?

The 11th version of Android is finally here, with new conversation features, a screen-recording tool and more control over your privacy and data.

According to Google, the latest release is all about helping you get to what’s important on your phone.

Conversations across messaging apps can now be found in a dedicated space in the notifications section, making it easy to manage your chats in one place. You can also prioritise conversations from the key people in your life so you never miss an important message.

Android 11 also introduces Chat Bubbles which can be set to appear above other apps, allowing you to have a quick conversation with someone without needing to switch in and out of different apps.

With built-in screen recording, you can now record the screen — with sound from the mic, device or both — without requiring a third-party app.

A smart devices feature lets you access all your connected devices, such as your thermostat or smart lights, in one place by holding down the power button, so there’s no need to open multiple apps.

And the media controls have been redesigned to make it easier to switch the output for your audio or video content, meaning you can quickly switch between headphones, phone speaker, smart speaker and TV while in the same track or video.

For those with compatible car entertainment systems, Android Auto now works wirelessly for all phones running Android 11. Previously, only Pixel and Samsung phones could do this.

Privacy changes in the new version include one-time permissions, allowing you to give apps single-use — rather than perpetual — access to your microphone, camera and location. And for apps that you haven’t used in a while, Android will now ‘auto-reset’ permissions.

As Wired points out, Android software updates are notoriously slow to roll out, so not all phones will be able to download Android 11 just yet. However, it should be available on Google Pixel 2 or newer devices, as well as Select OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme phones and Android One devices.

Make sure you back up your phone before downloading any software update.

To check if you can download the update, go to Settings > System and then tap on Advanced > System Update. It should then start searching for the update, or you can tap Check for update.

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