One of the bigger features in Android 11 is a new type of "bubble" notification, which has been in development for years and looks a bit like Facebook's ancient chat heads. Unfortunately, they require that apps specifically support them to work going forward. However, Google's first-party Messages app will pick up support for it "in the next week or two." The settings section for bubbles has also been changed slightly as of Android 11 Beta 1.

Left: Bubbles settings on Android 11 DP4. Right: Bubbles settings on Android 11 Beta 1.

In Beta 1, the section for controlling bubbles in notifications has three settings rather than a binary two for just on/off. There's a new "Selected conversations can bubble" option that limits the feature to specific "conversations" — that's an Android 11 feature that breaks out notifications on a per-contact basis. However, the new setting may simply be a relocation of the "show as bubble" option you previously had on a per-conversation basis when long-pressing conversation notifications.

According to an announcement made via a comment on Reddit by Google's official /u/androidbetaprogram account, the Messages app will also be picking up support for bubble notifications in the next week or two, via an update to the opt-in Messages beta program on the Play Store.

So far, the experience using bubbles during the developer previews has been a little inconsistent. At one point, they seemed to work with quite a few different apps, but that seems to have changed in later releases, and enabling the feature for specific apps no longer works. Perhaps the early implementations (which were app-specific and not conversation-specific) were a proof of concept before the new API was finalized. Right now, the only app we know of that explicitly supports the bubbles notification API is Facebook Messenger.

  • Thanks:
  • Armando