How to enable the Bubbles feature on the Messages app in Android 11

Jack Wallen shows you how to enable and use the Bubbles feature for your messages in Android 11.

How to enable the Bubbles feature on the Messages app in Android 11

Android 11 includes a pretty impressive set of improvements and new additions to the platform. One of those additions is the Bubbles feature, and it's finally becoming a reality. For those who don't know, the Bubble feature was teased in previous releases, but never quite made it to prime time. Bubbles are Android's take on the Facebook Messenger Chat Heads interface. When you receive a message from Facebook Messenger, it appears on your screen as a floating bubble that you can move around, tap to view, and either leave it on your screen or drag it down to the bottom of the display to close it. 

The next time you receive another message, a new bubble will appear.

SEE: Android 11: The best features (TechRepublic)

Android has adopted that interface and plans to bring it to other applications with the next iteration of the operating system (11, for those who are counting).

What gives? 

Fortunately, the solution for this is quite simple. Let me show you.

What you'll need

  • An Android device running Android 11

How to enable Bubbles for Android Messages

In order to make this work, you must go to the Android Messages app testing page, in the Google Play Store, and sign up. Click BECOME A TESTER. After taking care of that, go to your Android 11 device and wait for the message to upgrade. If you don't receive the message, open the Google Play Store on your device, click the menu button in the upper left corner, tap My Apps & Games, scroll down until you see Messages, and tap Update.

After the update completes, when you receive your next text via Messages, you should see it appear as a bubble with a message that you can turn off Bubbles by tapping Manage (Figure A).

Figure A


Our first text message appeared as a bubble in Android 11.

Tap the bubble to read the message or drag it down to the bottom of the display to close it.

That's it, you've enabled the Bubbles interface for Messages.

The Bubbles interface might not be for everyone, but if you've enjoyed the Facebook Messenger Chat Heads, you will certainly approve of what Android's done with 11. If you're working with Android 11, give Bubbles on Messages a try and see if you don't wind up keeping it around for the duration.

Also see


Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....