Google today took another major step toward its release of Android 11 later this year.
The Android 11 Beta is now available. You can install it today if you’ve got a Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, or Pixel 4 XL device.
If you’d like to take the Android 11 Beta for a spin, you’ve got a couple options. The easiest is to navigate to the Android Beta Program’s webpage and enroll your device in the beta. Google will then send you an update over the air within 24 hours. If you prefer to manually flash a system image, though, those are available for Pixel devices, too.
Google says it expects to release up to 8 updates to beta testers over the course of this program.
This beta should be more stable than the Android 11 Developer Preview releases that Google has offered over the past several months, but you may still encounter some bugs here and there. If you decide you’d like to leave the beta, you can do so at any time.
As for what new features are packed into the Android 11 Beta, Google is focusing on 3 major themes: People, Controls, and Privacy.
Android 11 aims to make it easier for you to have conversations with the people you care about. It accomplishes this by adding a separate “Conversations” section to your notifications shade where you’ll easily be able to pick your chats back up when a new message comes in.
You can also easily do things like create a conversation shortcut on your home screen and move your chat to a bubble. Bubbles in Android 11 will keep your ongoing conversations easily accessible no matter what else you’re doing on your device.
The update to Android 11 also wants to give you more controls over your devices. For example, Google is adding quick access toggles for smart home devices like lights, locks, and thermostats to your power menu. Just long-press your phone’s power button and you’ll see these toggles, letting you easily control your smart home devices from anywhere on your phone.
New media controls in Android 11 are meant to make it easy for you to switch the output of your device for audio and video content. This includes headphones, speakers, and TVs.
Privacy is another major focus of Android 11. This update adds one-time permissions that allow you to grant an app access to your phone’s microphone, camera, or location just once, meaning that the app will have to ask for permission again the next time it wants to access those parts of your device.
Google also says that Android 11 will automatically reset the permissions of an app that you haven’t used for a while. You’ll get a notification when this happens, and the app can request permissions again the next time that you launch it. This feature is meant to prevent an app you may have forgotten about to continue doing things without you knowing about it.
Also improving in Android 11 are Google Play System Updates. This feature launched last year to make it easier for Google to update core components of Android OS, and in Android 11 there are 12 new modules that can be updated using this method to improve the privacy, security, and consistency of Android for both users and developers.
So now that the Android 11 Beta has arrived, are you going to load it onto your Pixel?
Source: Android Developers Blog