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Minor tweak in Android 11 makes it easier to monitor and manage VPN connections

An admittedly modest UI change in Android 11 makes it much easier to manage and decipher any current VPN connections on your smartphone.

The change was likely introduced with the last Android 11 Beta 3 build, but is live for all in the full release of Android 11 — which dropped officially last week. On Android 10, when connected to a VPN, you’d get a slimline notification confirming that you were connected to an external server.

It did the job but felt a little poorly implemented as when using the system-wide dark theme, it was quite jarring as a gray border within the notification shade. In Android 11, your VPN connections now live within the notification shade toggle section as a centered prompt.

Tapping still gives you the warning that VPN connections will be able to “monitor your network activity, including emails, apps, and websites.” This hasn’t changed and still gives you a hotlink to adjust your Open VPN connection settings. The wording has also been altered, from “Device connected to VPN” to “This device is connected to VPN.”

Considering that we have already done a deep dive into all things new in Android 11, this VPN notification change was one that slipped by. It’s not the most important change ever, but when you see side-by-side with the previous integration, it’s far more cohesive — especially considering that you can toggle an auto-connection to your VPN of choice within the quick toggle section.

As we said when the latest OS upgrade was first made available, this really highlights the maturation of Android wholesale. Very little in the grand scheme of things has really been ‘added’, rather tweaked, sharpened, and honed.

If you’re constantly connected to a VPN for privacy reasons, or just like watching content from abroad on Netflix, you might have already noticed the change since upgrading to Android 11. Let us know what you think of this admittedly modest change down in the comments section below.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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