The best (enterprise) features of Android 11

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Every new version of Android brings a lot of new features and improved design and security. Although Android 11 looks fairly similar to Android 10, there are a number of improvements worth noting. In this article, we will take a closer look and discover the best new features of Android 11 for enterprise.

Android 11 screen on a Point Mobile PM75 mobile computer

Work profile enhancements

Work profiles for Android devices are not a new feature. In fact, they got introduced all the way back with Android 7. However, Android 11 brings several enhancements for company-owned devices: If a work profile is added from the setup wizard via the provisioning tools, the device will be recognized automatically as company-owned and enables the device policy controller (DPC) to control a wider range of security policies for easier management of both work and personal use. Adding a work profile to a device using any other method will result in Android 11 recognizing it as personally-owned.

Android 11 also adds new features and UX improvements to the work and personal tabs of the default launcher. Device manufacturers can now present work and personal tabs, which lets users select apps from the work menu when tapping Share, or in the Settings app under App info, Location, Storage, and Accounts. Further improvements include gray-scaled work apps when the work profile is paused, making it easier for users to distinguish if the work profile is activated or deactivated. In times where both work and private life are closely related, this feature helps to avoid distraction by company related apps when the work profile is paused. Another convenient change is the omission of entering the passcode when turning on the work profile – as long as it’s the same as the devices passcode.

Privacy protection for business devices

Employers often have specific usage policies for users in place. Android 11 offers better controls over those policies to keep company-owned devices compliant with IT regulations. Admins of fully managed devices and company-owned devices with work profiles can now activate Common Criteria Mode which increases security such as AES-GCM encryption, and Wi-Fi configuration stores.

For better employee privacy and transparency, users are now notified when an admin enables location services on a company-owned device, or when an admin grants an app the permission to use the location of personally-owned device.

Improved data isolation ensures a strict separation of work and private apps and prevents attacks from the outside by other applications (for both profiles).

Favorite apps can be pinned in the share page

When sharing a contact or file, you can now pin your most frequently used or favorite app in the share page. This can be helpful when you are mostly using the same application, and you don’t want to scroll through the entire list every time you want to share something. By tapping and holding the desired app icon, you can now choose to pin the app all the way to the left for easier access. To unpin, simply press and hold the icon again and tap Unpin.

Showing new functions of Android 11: Pin Save to Drive (PM75)
Simply tap and hold to pin an app as your favorite

Notification history

If you ever deleted a notification accidentally, you will like this new feature: In Settings -> Apps & notifications -> Notifications -> Notification history, you will now find a complete list of recently dismissed notifications of the last 24 hours. Of course the function can also be completely deactivated if you don’t need it at all.

Showing new functions of Android 11: Notification history (PM75)
Notification history shows you all dismissed notifications of the last 24 hours

Quick settings pane now with media controls

A slight, but noticeable change was done to the media controls: They have now moved up to the bottom of the quick settings pane. To see a mini version of the player, swipe down from the top of the screen. By swiping again, you’ll see the full player with enhanced options.

Showing new functions of Android 11: Quick settings pane with media controls (PM75)
Media controls are now integrated in the quick settings when swiping down

Android 11 brings a whole lot of interesting features for business users. Are you going to install it once available for your device? Let us know in the comments below.

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