Samsung is starting to roll out updates to Android 11 and One UI 3.0, its customized interface, to some of its latest phones. The first up is Galaxy S20 series devices in the US, Korea, and most of Europe. The mobiles will start receiving updates today. Updates for the Note 20, last year’s Note 10 and S10, and the Z Fold, Z Fold 2, and Z Flip will arrive next week. Updates for the Galaxy A series will come in the first half of 2021.
The updates come three months after the launch of Android 11. Ideally, Samsung is slow to deliver Android updates, even to its latest phones. Three months isn’t a considerable weight as it maintains the same pace as last year. But a number of other phone manufacturers, including OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Oppo, managed to deliver Android 11 on day one this year. Samsung’s updates take longer in part because it heavily customizes Android with its own interface.
One UI 3.0 mostly brings visual refinements to Samsung’s existing interface. Menus and widgets will now include a frosty, translucent background instead of the grayish look which was seen in previous models. Additionally, Samsung also adds some richer lock screen widgets and a redesigned volume menu. And it says animations should be smoother, and camera autofocus should be faster.
What’s in the store with Android 11?
It’s not entirely clear how soon any given phone will get these updates, even though the rollout is starting today. Samsung’s software rollouts often begin slowly, and they’re frequently held up on a carrier-by-carrier basis.
Verizon manages other US carriers to the punch, pushing out the update ahead of tomorrow’s expected wider rollout. These software rollouts happen in waves from page to transportation, and often the unlocked versions are among the last to get it, though that may vary.
Based on the changelog, there aren’t any surprises either, as the new update will deliver Android 11 features like the new conversation section for notifications. Notification bubbles, and plenty of privacy tweaks on top of Samsung’s other One UI 3.0 changes.
What is Android 11?
Ideally, Android 11 is the newest version of Google’s smartphone and tablet operating system. Even though it is not on all phones yet but soon we can expect it. Google released Android 11 on September 8, 2020. But you need to wait for a while if you own a phone from a company other than Google.
Manufacturers with custom forks of Android will build their own versions of Android 11, then roll them out to their smartphones.
Some of the unique features of Android 11:
Built-in screen recording-
The latest version of the Android brings a feature some custom Android forks already have – built-in screen recording. This lets you use easily-accessible controls within the Phone to create a video of what’s on your screen, similar to screenshots.
You can even record the sound of your Phone or use the mic to narrate what you are doing. Hence, it is a fantastic feature for creating a short-form video like TikToks, or for making tutorial videos to help less tech-savvy relatives. Additionally, you can easily copy and paste images, text, and videos from one app and send it straight to another.
New conversations tab:
Under Android 11, you can see screens split into two sections, consisting of your notifications and your ‘conversations.’ These conversations are basically just chatting messages from chat apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. It will allow you to see some notifications that are worth paying attention to.
You can also now pin conversations to ‘Bubbles’ – which are similar to Facebook Messenger. Here you can see a floating icon appears above other apps to show you that you have a message. Now you can get messages from more apps to appear as bubbles. And you can pin them there, too, so the chat is always easily accessible.
Smart home and media controls:
The new Android 11 update brings loads of changes for people who use loads of smart home devices. Talking of home, there’s a new Bedtime Mode in the Phone, which you can set to run during the night. It turns on Do Not Disturb and makes the phone screen black-and-white to protect your vision.
There are new media controls too. It’s now easier to make the music play from other devices connected to your Phone, like Bluetooth speakers or other gadgets. Furthermore, Android Auto now works wirelessly on your car, saving you from having to fiddle with wires to get it working.
Under Android 11, Google seems to improve its Voice Access mode. A relaxed new mode is the braille keyboard, so you can write braille messages without needing to buy separate software. Finally, the Lookout app now lets you scan documents and food labels. So people with low vision can still ‘read’ documents and see what’s in their food.
Security and privacy:
The Android 11 update brings some changes to app permissions. Now, you can grant consent to the app. In addition, your Phone will automatically revoke licenses for apps.
Better prediction tools:
The new version will most likely reduce the work you do on your Phone by predicting your habits and patterns. Finally, apparently, the Smart Reply feature already usable in Android phones has received some tweaks. This mode suggests some automatic responses when you receive a message. Additionally, with one tap, you can receive your news.
Thus, you can click About Phone, then Android Version repeatedly clicks where it says ‘Android Version: 11’. If you do this right, the Android 11 logo should pop up, which is a green signal. Well, when you travel, turn on Airplane mode, any headphones connected via Bluetooth will stay connected, so you won’t have to reconnect them.