One of the things I’ve always loved about Android is notifications, and over the years Google has tweaked the system to make it better and, in many ways, more powerful. Now, with Android 11’s debut, Google is shaking things up a bit with a new section of notifications dedicated to conversations.

The first Android 11 developer preview just dropped today and we’re still digging through it to see what’s new, but one thing Google was quick to highlight in its announcement was this new conversations section for notifications in Android 11. The idea of this new feature is to help users instantly find their ongoing conversations from messaging apps instead of digging through the rest of the notification shade.

This section appears right at the top of the notifications tray, outweighing standard notifications. Notably, this also makes a third section for notifications. There are conversations, standard notifications, and also silent notifications. If you only have a few, you can see these sections separated out very clearly with spaces and small headers.

So far, it looks like Google is automatically recognizing Android apps that should appear in the Conversations section of your notifications. Google Voice, for instance, immediately appeared here when a text arrived.

Notably, there are other options here too. You can long-press the notification to access a menu with options to push that conversation into a Bubble, “favorite” it, mute, snooze, or mark that notification as not a conversation in case Android misidentifies something.

We’re just getting started digging through Android 11’s first developer preview, so stay tuned to see what’s new!

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Ben Schoon

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