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Android 11’s first beta lands early for some Pixel owners

Android 11’s first beta lands early for some Pixel owners


Ahead of its now-delayed June 3rd launch

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Some Google Pixel owners have received the Android 11 Beta early, revealing yet more details about this year’s version of Android. In a tweet, Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers said that two Pixel 4 XL users reported having received the update, revealing new details about Android 11 features like the power button menu, three new icon shapes, and auto-generated app suggestions in the home screen dock.

Google planned to announce the Android 11 beta on June 3rd but decided to delay the launch. “Now is not the time to celebrate,” the company said without linking it directly to national protests about police violence that have since gone global. The company is yet to set a new date for the announcement, so it’s unclear when this beta software may be more widely available.

The beta software shows off a number of features that are under development for Android 11. There’s a new option for developers to move their app’s media controls from the notifications panel into the Quick Settings menu, freeing up space for other notifications. The playback options appear to the left of the minimized menu, and 9to5Google notes that it expands across the top of the screen when the menu is fully opened. 

The Pixel Launcher has also been updated as part of the beta, allowing Google’s software to automatically populate the bottom row of the Pixel’s home screen with app suggestions. These suggestions previously sat at the top of the app drawer, but now you can have them directly on your home screen. App icons are generally getting a bit of a face lift, with three new icon shapes offering more customizability.

These features build on a host of other functionality that we’ve learned about over the past few months of developer releases. There’s a new settings menu for the previously-revealed chat “bubbles,” which let you keep conversations accessible via a floating bubble on your screen, and another menu shows how you’ll be able to customize the payment options and smart home shortcuts in the revamped power button menu.