According to 9to5Google
, starting yesterday, those using the beta version of the Google
Messages app have the Bubbles feature if they are running a version of the Android 11 beta. Bubbles is similar to the Chat Heads found in the Android version of Facebook Messenger and it will save Android users from having to jump back and forth between apps while in the middle of a text session.
For example, let's say that you're daytrading International Poindexter (not a real company) and are watching the fluctuations in the stock price on a financial app like CNBC. At the same time, you need to chat with your buddy Hal who has a line on toilet paper and hand sanitizer and needs to speak to you about your interest in both ASAP. Well, you could switch back and forth between Messages and CNBC although you could risk missing that exit signal you've been waiting for. With bubbles, the avatar will float right on top of the CNBC app allowing you to stock up on coronavirus supplies and sell International Pointdexter right at the day's peak.
Android 11 bubbles will help users chat and view other content without bouncing between apps
Here's how it works. A floating avatar will appear on the upper left corner of the display by default. It contains the Messages icon in the bottom right corner to show you which app it is coming from. The name of the person, and a preview of the message appear and morph (via an animation) into a blue dot. Tapping the bubble brings the avatar to the top center of the phone along with a "Plus" button that will show recent and dismissed bubbles when pressed on.
Bubbles is now available for Google Messages in Android 11
When a bubble is tapped, it will expand to provide the user with the full functionality of the Messages app including the ability to access video, photos, emoji, Assistant suggestions, and more. And if you need to get in touch with the person you're texting by alternative means there are links that will fire up Google Duo or make a phone call. An unopened bubble can be removed from the screen by dragging it to the bottom of the display. That will keep the message in the notification shade.
If you want to play with bubbles right now, you will need to be a beta tester for the Google Messages app. Or, you can install the beta version of Messages from the Google Play Store
. Since the last server-side update has been completed, the feature should be available now as long as you're running the Android 11 Developer Preview. Keep in mind that you won't see bubbles if you're not using the Google Messages app. Some carriers include their own text/SMS app with the rest of their bloatware. Bubbles will not float to the surface on these apps so you need to make sure that you are using the correct one. To do this go to Settings
> Apps & notifications
> Default apps
and tap on SMS app. Make sure that you have the Google Messages beta installed before starting this process and then select it as your default app.
If you haven't yet updated your Pixel
to the Android 11 beta preview, you might want to hold off at this time. While it is up to you to determine how important the bubbles feature is, installing the first Android 11 beta could leave your handset full of bugs. Some features that you count on might not operate correctly. If your Pixel is not your daily driver and you're okay with the risk, you can join the Android 11 beta program by going to this website
. Tap on Get the beta
> View your eligible devices
and opt-in. You will receive a software update containing the most recent Android 11 beta. There is a caveat; once you join the program you can not return to Android 10 unless you completely wipe the data from your phone. So you have to make the hard decision: can you wait for the final version of Android 11 to drop (most likely in September) to get your bubbles?