Although Android 11 was released back in September, the only devices to see the final version have largely been Google’s Pixel devices. That’s not to say that other phone makers haven’t been working on the software update. OnePlus and Samsung have had open beta programs available for a few devices.
But as we get closer to the end of 2020, it seems that Samsung is kicking its software release schedule into high gear. Over the last few weeks, the company has pushed its One UI 3.0 software to a number of devices. It all started with the Galaxy S20 lineup, before moving to the Note 20. Now, it seems that the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and even the Galaxy S10 Lite are seeing the update.
Android 11’s features
While Android 11 does not bring so much of a redesign, it’s more of a “polish” over Android 10. There are a lot of new features that were introduced alongside Android 10, and the update to Android 11 improves or enhances many of the most popular ones while including a few new features of its own. Here are just some of the highlights:
Improved Conversation Notifications
Notifications have always been a pain, and even though grouped notifications can really be helpful, Android 11 takes it up a notch. Any notifications from messaging apps are separated from the rest of your notifications. Then, you can set “priority” notifications for the most important conversations.
All new Predictive Tools
Smart Reply is likely the most-used predictive tool, and now you will see suggestions for replies or even emojis. This makes it easy to respond to that message, even if your hands are full and you don’t have time to type everything out yourself.
Android 11 on the Pixel lineup has introduced a new way for you to control all of your smart home products. Just press and hold the power button and a new menu will be revealed with toggles and sliders for all of the smart home connected devices. With this, you’ll never need to worry about opening up the Google Home app again. Plus, this new menu makes it really easy to take advantage of Android Pay.
The difference between One UI 3.0 and Android 11
For the unaware, there are several versions of Android available on the market. “Stock Android” is the version available with the Google Pixel lineup of devices. While Samsung relies on One UI for its software moniker.
This is basically nothing more than a “skin” atop Android, but with many of the same great features (and a few extras) that are found with stock Android. Samsung essentially takes Android, puts it’s own spin on the interface, adds new features, and releases it for the Galaxy lineup of phones.
How to check for an update
If you have one of the aforementioned devices, you may be able to install the latest update. Here’s how you can check to see if an update is available for your Samsung Galaxy device.
- Open the Settings app on your Samsung phone.
- Scroll down and tap System Updates.
- Tap Check for system updates at the top.
- If an update is available, tap Download.
- Once the update has downloaded, tap the Install Now button.