6 ways Android 11 just turned up the heat against Apple’s iPhone

Android 11 introduces a handful of options that both catch as much as the iPhone or blow previous it.

Jason Cipriani/PJDM

As Android 11 continues to roll out to handsets world wide, customers of Google’s cell working system are getting a ton of recent options that would completely change the way in which they use their phones. Apple’s iOS has provided a few of them for years, however different new methods put Google forward of the iPhone ($699 at Amazon).

From connecting third-party apps and voice-controlled Google Assistant in deeper, extra helpful methods, to new communication instruments designed to make conversations simpler, Android 11 brings quite a lot of essential adjustments simply as Apple prepares for the launch of the rumored iPhone 12 with updated iOS 14 on Oct. 13.

As competitors with rival sensible assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa continues to warmth up, Google has been including increasingly options to its digital helper, Google Assistant. Google Assistant is not simply the default AI on Android telephones, however can be baked into Google Home and Google Nest smart home units (and even out there on Apple devices loaded with certain Google apps).

Here is a take a look at six of essentially the most fascinating and helpful updates coming to Android 11 telephones in 2020.

Google Booth CES 2020

A monorail prepare emblazoned with “Hey Google” promoted Google Assistant at CES 2020.

James Martin/PJDM

Google Assistant now works with third-party apps

For years, Android customers have been in a position to open their e mail, ship a textual content and management a complete litany of actions on their telephones utilizing Google Assistant, however the function was restricted to Android apps and companies. Apple’s Siri, alternatively, has been in a position to management third-party apps for some time now.

However Google has evened things up. The corporate not too long ago announced partnerships with 30 third-party apps, including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, and says it expects so as to add extra within the coming weeks and months.

Now Android 11 customers will be capable of accomplish duties on particular apps by saying issues like:

  • “Hey, Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy” 
  • “OK, Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.”
  • “Hey, Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal.” 

Android telephones with Google’s name filtering function can intercept potential spam calls earlier than they interrupt you.


Verified Calls lets who’s calling

When your telephone rings out of the blue, you wish to know who’s calling and why. The Android app you employ to make and obtain calls has gotten some updates that ought to aid you determine it out, even when you do not acknowledge the quantity – identical to iPhones can do.

In addition to filtering spam, which works by silencing calls from numbers Google has recognized as probably fraudulent, Google has additionally introduced its Verified Calls function, which authorizes sure companies and reveals you the corporate title, emblem, motive for calling and a verification image. 

There is a comparable program referred to as Verified SMS for textual content messages.

Android can flip noises into push notifications

Every kind of issues, from microwaves to fireplace alarms to guests standing exterior your entrance door, use sound to warn you. However in case you have listening to loss or are carrying headphones, you won’t catch all of them. Android’s new Sound Notifications function is supposed to pay attention for all of the beeps, buzzes and knocks round you, then warn you with a push notification in your telephone.


Whether or not you’ve got suffered listening to loss or identical to to put on headphones, Android’s new Sound Notifications function is designed to relay essential info out of your environment as a push notification in your telephone.

Sarah Tew/PJDM

Sound Notifications makes use of machine learning and your phone’s microphone to pay attention for 10 several types of sounds, together with child noises, working water, smoke and fireplace alarms, appliances beeping and door knocking. Apple’s latest cell working system, iOS 14, has an identical function called Sound Recognition.

To activate Sound Notifications in Android 11, open Settings, then faucet Accessibility and allow Sound Notifications.

Google TV involves Android

Android TV, not too long ago rebranded and updated as Google TV, is rolling out to Android units with a number of recent and outdated options that sync throughout units, together with your library, suggestions and watchlist. This brings it as much as par with Apple TV ($180 at Best Buy) units and apps.


Google rebranded Android TV as Google TV and added options like the flexibility to look throughout a number of streaming subscriptions.

Google/Screenshot by PJDM

The most important change Google TV brings to the Android film and TV expertise is the flexibility to look throughout a number of suppliers like Netflix, Hulu and even dwell TV. You’ll be able to ask, “Hey, Google, discover motion films” or “present me sci-fi journey TV reveals” and the outcomes will span your subscriptions.

Google Duo provides display sharing, video voicemails

Individuals who depend on Google Duo’s mobile-only video calling service to speak with household and mates now have a few new methods to attach, via display sharing and video voicemails with captions — two options Apple’s FaceTime nonetheless lacks.

To share your display throughout a video name, faucet the three dots within the backside proper nook, then faucet Display screen Share. A pop-up will ask if you wish to share delicate info on the decision. Faucet Begin Now to just accept.


Google’s reply to FaceTime and Skype, referred to as Google Duo, has a few new options distinctive to video calling.

James Martin/PJDM

To depart a video message, both await the decision to go unanswered for 60 seconds or press Go away a video message whereas it is nonetheless ringing. Comply with the onscreen prompts, then faucet Ship. Captions might be added robotically.


With Motion Blocks, customers faucet an image and the app speaks the chosen phrase out loud.


Motion Blocks app turns footage into speech

The brand new Motion Blocks app makes use of footage and symbols to convey brief phrases. Google calls it an “synthetic voice for individuals with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and different speech associated disabilities.”

To attempt Motion Blocks, obtain it from the Google Play app retailer. (For the file, Apple has comparable apps out there on its App Retailer, however none made by Apple.)

For extra Google suggestions and methods, try these five Google Maps tricks that transcend simply driving instructions, these seven Android 11 features you should use immediately and how to pay for parking right from the Google Maps app.

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Dale Smith