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11 new Android 11 features you should know about

Android 11 is finally here! Well, sort of. The update is already rolling out to Google Pixel phones, and will come to more devices in the coming weeks and months. Much like the past few Android OS updates, there aren’t any radical design changes or features that will completely change how you use your phone, but there are plenty of smaller improvements worth talking about.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the top 11 features you should look for when your device gets updated. There are certainly more features in total — we were tracking nearly 100 as of Beta 1 — but these are the highlights.

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Android 11 moves all media playback controls from the notifications panel to just below the Quick Settings section. This means tapping the ‘Clear all’ button for notifications no longer clears the controls (it usually did if the media was paused), and if you have active media controls for more than one app, you can cycle through them by swiping horizontally.

There is an option to hide the controls after you’re done listening to something, but being able to resume a podcast or playlist long after you last paused it without opening the app (or using a widget) is nice to have.

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