Every Android update has always touched upon notifications to improve user experience. This time around with Android 11, they went the full monty. This release has more consumer-focused features and brings about a refreshing change, making it an update even users are looking forward to.
What’s cooking with notifications on Android 11?
On August 6th, Google released the 3rd Beta of Android 11. While there are a lot of small tweaks and changes, a new notification shade steals the show. Here are the exciting new changes with this update-
With Android 11, the notification drawer has gone through a full revamp Now there are distinct sections for notifications that separate out conversational apps, from other apps and has a section for persistent and silent notifications.
Section headers have taken over the notification drawer, earlier where notifications used to be jumbled, now a clear demarcation will find its place. There will be 3 broad headers-
Since person to person communication is more valuable than other notifications, we will see personal notifications placed under ‘Conversations’ on the very top. The sole reason for this is to separate out the instant messaging app with other notifications and focus more on what is important - conversations with people. You can also bubble the notifications on any instant messaging app. This lets you select chats that will float around in a bubble on your screen that can be tapped to view the conversation. This is very similar to Facebook's Chat Heads. One can also put any contact on Priority to ensure that these notifications are received even if the ‘Do not disturb’ is turned on. Under conversations, apps like Whatsapp and Twitter will find their way.
Next in the line is Notifications (which was earlier called Alerting notifications, has seen a change in name in Beta 2). Email notifications, notification on games, or any app notification will find its way here. One can always long-press on an app for converting alerting notifications to silent notifications.
Similarly to prioritize conversations, you can now also choose and customize which apps can break through Do Not Disturb mode and alert you when they arrive.
The third ‘Silent’ (earlier named as silent notifications) is where persistent notifications and notifications that the user has chosen to receive the notifications in silently will appear. Silent notifications make no sound or alert the user in any way. Any notification which is not time-sensitive and wants to convey some data to the end-user would be visible under Silent. You can control where silent notifications show up. You can either make them show up on the status bar, or you lock screen as well.
The notification history
Sometimes it so happens that readers unknowingly dismiss a notification before they read it or accidentally dismiss an interesting notification they receive. Users will be able to see a list of all the notification received by each individual application with Android 11.
These can now be found under the Manage button and the Notification history in the Settings. Other than that, you can enable it by directly going to Setting> Apps & notifications > Notifications and turn the notification history toggle on.
Permission auto reset
Android has introduced this much-needed user privacy functionality by letting the user be fully aware, choose, and control if they want to share their personal data. Users can now grant permissions for location, microphone, or camera, on a one-time basis, which is while using the app. As soon as the user leaves the app the permissions will be revoked and they will have to grant permission yet again when they launch the app again. Following in the footsteps of Apple, which have had this feature for a while, this is a welcoming change. Here is what it will look like on Android-
The permission provided by the users initially while downloading the app or using the app gets revoked automatically if the user has not been using the app for a prolonged period of time. The user is informed about the permissions being revoked, and can manually change it if required.
Users can now grant permissions for location, microphone, or camera, on a one-time basis, which is while using the app. As soon as the user leaves the app the permissions will be revoked and they will have to grant permission yet again when they launch the app again. Also, if you hit deny a couple of times, Android will tell the app to stop asking you every single time.
With Android 11, developers can allow their apps to mute sounds, vibrations, or both while the camera app is open. This means your notifications will get delivered silently if the camera app is open!
Where is Android 11 at?
As of now the third beta of Android has been released and the final version is all set to release on 8th September. For developers, it is the perfect time to ensure that the apps are rolling before the official release. You can try out the beta 3 for yourself here if you have a Pixel phone.
For complete details on Android 11 features and APIs, visit the Android 11 developer site.
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