Just like clockwork, a new version of Android comes out each year offering better security, better usability, more AI and loads of new features. Let’s see what Android 11 offers.
When you buy a smartphone (other than those with published policies), you are lucky to get any OS upgrade and occasional security updates.
The first cab off the rank is Google’s Pixel that from Pixel 4 onwards gets OS and security updates for three years from release (not purchase). Sorry, no Android 11 for Pixel to 3a.
The next cab is OPPO (and its siblings realme, vivo and OnePlus). OPPO guarantee two OS updates for its flagship Find and mid-market Reno series phones and at least two years of security patches.
For all other OPPO (and its siblings) models it depends on the phone’s capability. For example, in Q2 2020 it updated its F, R and A series from 2018 onwards to Android 10. OPPO will make a formal announcement on its ColorOS 11 on 14 September.
Samsung has also announced three generations of Android OS updates for its Galaxy series moving forward.
And of course, there are other pure Google Android phones from Nokia and Motorola.
What is new in Android 11?
First, let me be clear that most brands of handsets will not get Android 11. Some makers are still struggling to get recent models to Android 10. That is even more of a problem when you buy from dodgy grey/parallel importers and can’t get a country-specific over-the-air update as well.
Android 11 addresses privacy, easier ways to connect and manage conversation and app security.
Google has a feature here on 11 of the new features of Android 11. Here is a summary
- Prioritize conversations from the key people in your life, so you never miss an important message.
- Bubbles enable you to respond to important conversations without having to switch apps
- Record screen, mic or apps
- Access all smart IoT devices by a long press on the power button
- Better music content to different devices
- Android Auto works wirelessly – no cable needed
- One time app permissions to access sensors like the camera, mic etc
- Auto-reset of permissions on unused apps
- Direct OTA for security update – no more waiting on the phone vendor or Telco
- Android Enterprise users have work and personal profiles
- And if you have a Pixel, there are several Pixel first features here (these will roll out to other brands/models later)
There is an official Android 11 overview here