Among the many updates coming as part of Android 11, we’ve learned that it will likely make controlling smart home devices simpler and faster. This was first rumored a while back, but the feature has now been enabled in the latest Android 11 developer preview.
It takes the form of a new menu that pops up when you long-press the power button, a menu that’s full of controls for supported smart home devices. You can see how this looks in the images below, shared by Phone Arena.
The smart home switches appear below contactless payment options, which can already be triggered with a long press, and the images show that you can turn lights on or off and adjust the brightness.
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But that’s just the start. A slightly earlier leak from Mishaal Rahman (the editor in chief of XDA Developers), shared before the feature was fully enabled by Google, shows it also allowing you to control smart locks, blinds, thermostats, and security cameras, and even view a mini feed of a security camera directly on this screen.
So basically it looks to give you complete control of your smart home, all in one place. That’s not a new idea – there are already apps that aim to do this, but you can’t launch them with a long press of the power button, so if there’s support for a wide enough selection of smart home devices then this could be far more convenient.
While this feature looks promising, most of us will have to wait a while to get hold of it, as Android 11 is unlikely to land in its full, finished form until September; and even then, it could be many months before the majority of non-Pixel phones are updated with it. Still, it’s something to look forward to if you want an easy way to control your smart home.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.