Google just launched its first public beta for Android 11, the next big update of the popular operating system. The update is early as per the newly revised schedule that Google posted earlier owing to the developer preview delays due to the ongoing pandemic. Also Read - Android 11 Beta 1 arrives early and reveals developer option for new media controls in quick settings
However, despite the timely release, there is some bad news with the latest Android 11 beta. Unlike Android 10’s first beta, you can install the new build on only a handful of devices. In comparison, when the first Android 10 beta rolled out, it supported about two dozen devices. The new beta supports only the Google Pixel 2 series, 3 series, 3a series, and Pixel 4 series. Also Read - Google delays Android 11 Beta launch event
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Smartphones from brands like Asus, LG, Oppo, Realme, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi or even OnePlus, which is a popular choice for trying new betas, are absent from the list. It is likely that the decision to not support devices outside of the Pixel series is due to the pandemic and the company is having a hard time keeping up with deadlines with most of the staff still working from home. Also Read - Android 11 Developer Preview 4 released, first public beta to come on June 3
As per a report by Android Authority, a source familiar with Google’s plans has confirmed that this version and about two more Android 11 public beta builds will work on some non-Pixel devices too. However, which devices are supported, and when these builds will surface is still a mystery. Until then, You need a Pixel 2 series phone or above if you want to try your hand at the new build.
Android 11 features
The beta 1 release includes the final SDK and NDK APIs. Google will also open Play Store publishing for apps targeting Android 11. The update already includes some features previously not seen in the Developer Preview 4. Here is a look at some of these features.
Google is allowing developers to enable media controls in Quick Settings with the release of Beta 1. It means Spotify can add a music player in the quick settings with the new beta release. As reported yesterday, Android 11 Beta 1 also brings a customizable power menu. This includes the option to control devices and wallet. There are also new app suggestions for Pixel Launcher dock, as noted by 9to5Google. The Android 11 Beta 1 brings new icon shape overlays including Vessel, Tapered Rect, and Pebble.
The Android 11 Beta 1 release also includes a new setting for Bubbles notifications. In Settings, you can head to Apps & Notifications followed by Notifications and then tap on Bubbles. Here, you now have the option to enable or disable apps from showing bubbles. It is not uncommon for Google to add new features to beta release. However, Android 11 Beta 1 seems like an update that brings a new developer option that will simplify user experience.