As we know, Google always preliminary shows the next version of Android months before its launch date. However, this time things have changed a little bit. The original launch for Android 11 Beta 1 was supposed to launch last week. But due to the COVID-19 situation, it was shifted from its original date. Not only that, but the developer conference was canceled this year due to that. So, the Android team had to opt for a virtual event for a more exquisite launch of the Android 11 Beta 1.
However, Google also canceled the virtual launch event. The official statement from them was,
“The global community of Android developers has always been a powerful force in shaping the direction of the Android platform; every voice matters to us. We have canceled the virtual launch event to allow people to focus on important discussions around racial justice in the United States. Instead, we are releasing the Android 11 Beta today in a much different form, via short-form videos and web pages that you can consume at your own pace when the time is right for you. Millions of developers around the world build their business with Android, and we’re releasing the Beta today to continue to support these developers with the latest tools. We humbly thank those who can offer their feedback on this release.”
But, Google did reveal 12 talks initially scheduled for I/O on YouTube. It will also be hosting “11 Weeks of Android” that will cover topics like UI, machine learning, and Jetpack. Not only that, but they will also host an online Android 11 meetup.
So, Android 11 Beta 1 comes with three themes, which are People, Controls, and Privacy. Let’s discuss these three important themes one by one.
Google wants to make Android “more people-centric and expressive” by “reimagining the way we have conversations on our phones.” So, you can expect a lot of messaging functionality on the Android 11. There is a dedicated section for conversations at the top of the notification shade. It allows you to set reminders and create home screen shortcuts.
Also, Bubbles have changed a lot. Now, users can pop-out conversations and get one-tap access to open a conversation they were having before. Some other features include consolidated keyboard suggestions, Voice access now gets leverage of “on-device visual cortex that understands screen content and context and generates labels and access points for accessibility commands.”
This category includes easier controls for all your smart home devices and Bluetooth accessories. There are two main features in this category the Device Controls and the Media Controls. Also, Google Home already supports this new API. First, let’s talk about the Device Controls. To access this, all you have to do is hold down your volume down button. You can choose to turn lights/off or drag the tile to adjust brightness.
Second, let’s talk about the Media Controls. It lets you to change the output of the playing audio/video to speakers, headphones, or televisons, whilst Now Playing is integrated with Quick Settings.
Privacy is one of the most fundamental features of anything. So, Google has added some decent features to protect your privacy. This consists of:
- One-time Permission – It allows you to give an app access to the device microphone, location, or camera just for that one time.
- Background location – Now, the developers will need approval to access the background location in its app to obstruct misuse.
- Permissions auto-reset – Android 11 will auto-reset all of the runtime permissions of the app you haven’t used for a long time.
- Google Play System Updates – Google has doubled the number of updatable modules. Now, the 12 new modules will offer enhanced privacy, security, and consistency for users and developers.
How To Install Android 11 Beta
The Android 11 Beta 1 currently works on only Pixel devices such as Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, and Pixel 4 XL and also Android Emulator. So, if you have one of these devices, follow the steps below.
- First, visit the Android 11 beta site to enroll your eligible device.
- Now, select “View Your Eligible Devices”.
- Click on Enroll under your device.
Now, you will receive a notification on your device that the software package is ready to install. However, if nothing happens don’t panic. According to Google, it takes 24 hours for the software to get ready to install on your device. So, if you don’t receive any notification, wait for some time.