Google has this week pushed out its highly anticipated Android 11 update, with the major OS upgrade hitting Pixel devices and a range of Chinese sm
Google has this week pushed out its highly anticipated Android 11 update, with the major OS upgrade hitting Pixel devices and a range of Chinese smartphones first. Besides devices such as the Pixel 4 select phones from OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and Realme are also getting Android 11 at launch. Among the changes that Android 11 brings to the table are big improvements to conversations and bubbles as well as built-in screen recording.
But while Android 11 is out on a range of devices on day one, there are a number of features only available to Pixel smartphones.
Most of these Pixel-exclusive features either tie into new Android 11 features of the Pixel Launcher, and some of these new additions will get rolled out to other devices in time.
Among the features that Pixel owners are getting first dibs to are Smart Reply, Live View with Location Sharing and app suggestions.
Outlining these Pixel exclusive features in a blog post, technical programme manager Matt Meffin said: “A few times a year, your Pixel receives a boost with software updates that send new features, tricks, and apps to your phone.
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“And this time, with new Pixel-first features on Android 11, your Pixel has even more smarts to make it better and more helpful—like giving you new ways to control your media and organise your apps, and making it easier to communicate with friends and family.
“And it all comes with privacy as a priority. Everything happens over the air, so you get that new-phone feeling over and over again.”
Meffin went on to give further details about the Pixel exclusive features arriving with Android 11. You can find a rundown below…
Live View with Location Sharing – Pixel users will be able to use Live View with Locating Sharing in Google Maps on Android 11. This new feature will help Pixel users easily meet up with friends, loved-ones or family members in real life. If they have shared their location a Pixel user will simply have to tap on their icon and then on Live View. Google Maps will then show where they are in relation and how far away they are. Tapping on start will then give you the directions you need to follow.
Smart Reply – Smart Reply is a Pixel exclusive feature in Android 11 which gives the user helpful suggestions to make typing easier when using a chat app. Google has said this is all processed directly on your phone to protect a user’s privacy. For the time being this is only available in English and requires use of Gboard. Google added that Smart Reply is not available for all chat apps.
App suggestions – With Android 11 a Pixel device will also be able to make app suggestions based on a user’s daily routine. So a Pixel user will be presented with the right app at the right time of each day. Android 11 will recommend apps for different times of the day – such as Messages for daily check-ins, Google Maps for your an afternoon walk or streaming apps in the evening if you want to chill out and watch a movie after a hectic day.
Folder grouping – The Pixel Launcher will make it easier for users to name folders by category and group apps together in Android 11. Apps can be quickly grouped together by theme such as Photography, News, Navigation, Fitness and more.
New overview options – With Android 11 Pixel users will find it easier to screenshot or highlight text for copying or searching. This new feature means “you’ll have more options over how you select and engage with content on your Pixel”.