A bubble app, which gives you a floating, collapasible messaging app. [credit:
After seven beta releases starting back in February, the final release of Android 11 is here. Of course, Google is shipping day-one Android 11 updates for the Pixel phones (most likely for the Pixel 2 and up), but that’s not all. The real shocker of Google’s blog post is that we can expect day-one updates from more than just Google. The company says “Android 11 will begin rolling out today on select Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, and realme phones.”
Major day-one Android updates are basically nonexistent outside of Google’s line of phones, so the announcement that a few manufacturers have managed to get an update out on time is a big deal. OnePlus has been one of the most active companies, with four developer previews for the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, so those are most likely the OnePlus phones getting updated. We’ll update this article with a full list later.
As for actual features, Android 11 isn’t a huge update, but it does have some changes. The notification panel has been upgraded with a new “conversations” section, which offers a special section and settings for notifications from messaging apps. Included in the new messaging features is the “Bubbles” API, which allows developers to build floating chat apps, similar to Facebook’s old Chat Heads feature. Also in the notification panel is a special slot for persistent media player notifications, which can now be easily switched between.