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Android 11 wish list — 5 features we want to see in 2022

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Android Logo (Image credit: Android Central)

Officially launched in September 2019, Android 10 has proven to be one heck of a release for Google's mobile operating system. The addition of a system-wide dark mode is something users have been clamoring for for years, the new gestures are an improvement over Pie's half-baked attempt, and the revamped permissions are a great step forward for having more control over your data and privacy.

Android 10 may still be fresh in a lot of people's minds, especially since there are plenty of phones that just got or are still waiting for the update, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start talking about Android 11.

Google typically releases the first developer preview for its new Android version in March, and for Android 10, this is also when the first beta debuted. That means we're just a few short months away from getting our first look at Android 11, and when it arrives, these are the features we're the most eager to see.

Dark mode scheduling

Android 10 dark mode

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Like I mentioned above, one of the big draws to Android 10 is its inclusion of a dark mode. With just a single tap, you can enable a luscious dark theme for your phone's system elements and any supported apps.

Dark mode in its current form is a joy to have, but there is one key component that's noticeably absent — scheduling.

As it stands in Android 10, you can only turn dark mode on and off by manually tapping the dark mode toggle. It's easy enough to do, but I'd love to see Android 11 add ways to have dark mode automatically do this on its own.

Similar to what we see in other Android interfaces and on iOS 13, Android 11 should allow you to create a custom schedule for dark mode, along with a way for it to turn on and off according to the sunset and sunrise. This would be a very simple change, but one that'd allow dark mode to feel substantially more useful and complete.

Customizable back gesture

Android 10 back gesture on a OnePlus 7 Pro

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

For the past two Android updates, Google has introduced new forms of navigation. Android 9 Pie debuted the two-button gesture hybrid, with Android 10 adopting a fully gestural system.

Some people might disagree with me, but I actually really like Android 10's gestures. I was apprehensive when I first saw them, but after using them daily on my Pixel 4 XL (opens in new tab), I've come around to enjoying them.

My biggest issue with Android 10's navigation is the gesture to go back. It's done by swiping anywhere from the left or right edge of your screen, and while I've never had an issue with it not working properly, it has rendered slide-out hamburger menus virtually useless.

In Android 11, I'd love for Google to add a way to customize the back gesture. Similar to how gestures are handled in OnePlus's OxygenOS, leaving a section of the screen that ignores the back gesture so you can still open up slide-out menus would be great. Google could also take this up a notch by allowing people to determine which part of the screen is used for slide-out menus and which recognizes the back gesture.

I know not everyone is pleased with how Google handled Android 10's gestures, but the last thing we need is for Google to create another brand new way to navigate Android. If we can get this one little refinement, I think it could bring a lot of people around to welcoming the gestures with open arms.

Built-in screen recorder

Screen recorder in an early beta of Android 10

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Leading up to the release of Android 10, it was really looking like Google was finally going to add a built-in screen recorder to Android. There was one present in the developer options of the Android 10 beta, but when the public build rolled out, it was nowhere to be found.

Google, don't tease us like that again and then not deliver the goods. With Android 11, there's no reason for a screen recorder not to be included.

This is such a small feature, and adding one should be easy enough to do. It may not be something you use every day, but for those times when I've wanted to record something on my screen, having to dive into the Play Store to find an app that allows me to do this is annoying.

Scrolling screenshot feature

Expanded screenshot feature on the OnePlus 7 Pro

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Similarly, I'd love for Android 11 to include a scrolling screenshot feature. Android does a good job capturing a snapshot of what's displayed on your phone, but having a way to expand the screenshot to see things below it would be awesome.

Again, this is something that already exists in some custom Android interfaces. Take OxygenOS again as an example. In my editorial about Amazon's Android app, I used my OnePlus 7 Pro to capture a single screenshot of the app's Account page. It's a long page that takes a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom of, and with the 7 Pro, I was able to take a single screenshot of the whole thing.

Google could (and should) add an option for this in Android 11. Let people take normal screenshots as they already do, but if there's more on their screen they want to capture, have a toggle for expanding the screenshot for however long the user wants.

Fix the 'open by default' UX

Setting an app to open links by default in Android 10

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

For years now, Android has allowed you to set apps to open certain links by default. If you tap a Twitter link, for example, you can have it open up in the Twitter app rather than a web browser.

Previously, this process was straightforward. Sticking with the Twitter example, tapping a Twitter link for the first time would result in a pop-up asking if you wanted to open it in Chrome or Twitter. You could do this Just Once, or if you tapped Always, it would instantly take you to the app you chose along with making that your default option.

Android 10 changed this, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why.

Now, when you tap Always for opening a link in a certain app, you're taken to the "open by default" settings. You then have to tap the "Open supported links" button that's flashing at you and then press "Open in this app." That's two extra taps on a completely different page just to confirm something you already did on the pop-up.

Why does any of this exist? Why add so many extra redundancies for what should be a simple action? There's nothing about this that is user-friendly, and I really, really hope we see it die in Android 11.

What do you want to see?

That's what we're hoping to get in Android 11, but what about you? What features or changes are you most excitedly to (hopefully) see? Drop a comment down below and let us know!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

26 Comments
  • I wish to have customized Device Name on a Router's connected devices list, & not the android default device names.
  • All those features are already available on Galaxy S and Note series phones
  • True. With just these features, no excitement for Samsung folks.
  • Yep not new for Samsung users. Been using the first 3 mentioned for a while now. Kudos to Samsung.
  • Exactly. This is why I'm not buying into the nonsensical narrative that Samsung is slow to deliver the latest Android updates as said updates are mostly inferior to what Samsung phones already have.
  • Those features are on my note and only find 3 of them useful such as Scheduled Dark mode, Screen Record, and Exp Screenshot and I love them. Hopefully 11 brings them out.
  • Archived sms messages should remain archived and not be truncated with new messsages.
  • I have all of these except dark mode scheduling, so maybe they are referring to Google's own phones?
    I love scrolling screenshots and the ability to take partial screenshots as well.
  • This is really boring stuff... Already have it on my s10e. Think up a new list someone!
  • I would love for google to make it possible to uninstall the "standard apps". I know, I know, it is Google's bread and butter where it comes to Android, but still
  • I want to see more work done on Project Treble to finally allow users to install the latest version of Android on any phone, regardless of whether the manufacturer releases an update or not. This is the #1 item Google needs to address and would make fragmentation a thing of the past.
  • Setting up both RCS and Duo on device setup while making them out out instead of the current opt in should be a HUGE step for Google's communication app mess. Also, I think this is already declared, but letting other apps (Signal) include RCS natively would be great.
  • Until they make it part of setup it will never be a real thing... But I don't think they will ever do that
  • I would like to have folders within the app drawer. I know you can do it with 3rd party launchers but the feature would be nice. Id like to group apps by type and also stow away system apps I don't even use.
  • This is proof that stock Android is not what it used to be. My P30 Pro has most of these features already. Getting the latest "updates" from Google is not as special as it once was. It's honestly a good thing. It just means that Android has fully matured, and that OEMs are on the ball. On a side note, the author should have edited the "clamouring for for...". That is an extremely awkward use of language.
  • Wait...we just got Android 10, and we are already talking about Android 11? How about focusing on Android 10 and making more efficient, use friendly, a better design...etc...
  • None of this you mentioned is recognised by me as a feature all of them are just small add ons
    I want 4k 60 fps and ios like video optimisation in android 11 for atleast google devices first then back gesture should only available on right edge screen i dont know why the hell google allowed it both sides and give root built in so power users can make most of it i mean its not an ios its an android
  • Great post!! I am really impressed. You have presented all the necessary information in detail about
  • I want to see a completely revamped UI. Something that's completely re-imagined.
  • It's funny because all those android 11 features have been available on Samsung since android 9
  • I would like to see Android STOP putting out a new OS every year! Completely unnecessary! I would rather they focus on ONE solid, stable OS and enhance it for a few years to make it even more stable! If they want to provide a new feature then make it available as a Play Store download and then you can install it only if you want it! This is the way it needs to be!
  • How about bring back the ability to hide the content of notifications on the lock screen without actually having to use a lock.
    That's how it was on Android 9 on my pixel. Now it's changed in Android 10. And that's why I'm still using my s10e and my 11pro. And not getting a p4
  • Call Recorder as a standard feature on Pixel Phones (Some Manufacturers do offer this feature). This is a key feature missing from Pixel phones, or devices running pure Android
  • 1. Bring back call recording! This feature was removed by Google since Android 9.
    2. Add a system-wide "UNDO" feature! So simple, and so overdue!
    3. Not sure this is Android related, but I'd love to be able to expand/maximize the typing box when composing a text or a WhatsApp message, usually there's only like 3 lines visible.
    4. When capturing a screenshot, give me an option to rename it before saving.
    5. Better handling when connected to a PC. for example, enable batch file renaming (without touching the extension of the file).
    6. Give me the option to ignore an app update. Let's say I have Translate app, and there is an update available - checking "what's new" reveals "added Korean language". I never speak this language and this update is a waste of my time and space, so let me "forget it".
  • Have the "Check for Updates" actually check for updates, like it was promised to do 3 years ago...
  • All or most of these features have been around on Huawei's EMUI for some time now. Just sayin'