Android 11 includes a lot of new features, but it turns out that some of the best may not be coming to all phones that get Android 11.
Details on the new Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for Android 11 have leaked (via XDA-Developers), and it mentions three new features of the update that are "Strongly Recommended" that device makers adopt but are not required. This means they may not appear on your particular device when it gets its update to Android 11.
As an aside, the CDD breaks features into three categories: "Must", which requires a feature be included on a device for it to get access to Google apps and services; "Strongly Recommended", which are features that Google recommends a device maker include but aren't required; and "Should Not", which are features OEMs can't use on their devices. These three features are said to be included in the "Strongly Recommnded" category.
First up is Device Controls. This feature lets you long press on your phone's power button and get quick access to smart home controls, letting you easily switch your lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, and more, all from your phone. Device Controls was originally a "Must" feature in the first edition of Android 11's CDD, but it's recently been moved to the "Strongly Recommended" category.
Next is Conversations in Notifications. With this feature, you'll get a dedicated space at the top of your notification shade for your ongoing chats, making it easier for you to quickly respond to incoming messages. Unfortunately, this feature may not be available on all Android 11 devices.
Finally, there's the IdentityCredential API, which enables things like mobile driver's licenses. This feature was also originally in the "Must" category of the CDD but was then moved to "Strongly Recommend", which XDA speculates may be because it could take longer for some device makers to implement since the feature deals with a trusted execution environment secure processor inside the phone.
While none of these are absolute must-haves that'll make Android 11 useless for anyone that doesn't get them, they are pretty nifty features that lots of people would likely use. Of course, just because these features aren't required for OEMs to include in their Android 11 updates doesn't mean all non-Google phones will skip them. So for now we'll just have to wait for Android 11's launch later this year and the subsequent updates to see which device makers do end up adopting them and which don't.
If you'd like to see some of these features and other Android 11 goodies in action, you can check out our hands-on video right here!