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Google opens beta for future Pixel feature drops

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For devices going back to the Pixel 4

Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6
Last year’s Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

If you’re interested in getting early access to Android features, then Google has a new beta program for Pixel owners. The search giant has just announced the release of the first beta for its upcoming Quarterly Platform Release (QPR), which are branded as Feature Drops when released to Pixel devices. 9to5Google reports that these features may end up being officially released as part of the Google Pixel’s June update.

According to a new page on Android’s developer site, the beta is available for Pixel devices going back to the Pixel 4. Unfortunately that doesn’t include the Pixel 3A, with 9to5Google noting that its support period is due to end in May.

You can sign up for the beta: here. Anyone on the 12L beta will be automatically transitioned over to the new QPR beta, Google says.

Although Android’s major version number updates typically get the most attention, since 2019 Google has been releasing more minor feature updates to its Pixels throughout the course of the year. With this QPR beta, as well as the Android 12L beta that started in December, Google is giving early-adopters a chance to try out its mid-year updates early, before their official release. The announcement of the new QPR beta comes as Android 12L exited beta earlier this week alongside the release of Google’s March Pixel feature drop.

The big thing that’s missing from Google’s announcement of its latest beta is any firm indication of what features that it actually includes. For now, the search giant’s announcement simply says it “includes improvements to functionality and user experience as well as the latest bug fixes, optimizations, and the March 2022 security patches.” But we’re sure to get a better idea of its contents as users dig in on this and future Google betas.