Google typically releases developer previews of its next-gen Android releases in February or March, and this year is no different. The company dropped the first beta of Android 11 today for both developers and anyone who has the guts to install unstable software on their phones. Devices that support the preview include the Pixel 4 & 4 XL, 3a & 3a XL, 3 & 3 XL, and 2 & 2 XL.
So what’s new? As it turns out, plenty. Early discoveries include a native screen recorder, a new Motion Sense gesture to pause music on the Pixel 4 series, native screenshot scrolling, the ability to turn on Airplane Mode and not turn off Bluetooth, app pinning in the sharing menu, and new developer options. It also introduces improved support for 5G, new form factors (a.k.a. the weird foldables you keep seeing), better low-latency video decoding for gaming services, and more.
As for the name, Google will undoubtedly stick with Android 11, but it does refer to the software by “Android R” a few times throughout the build. That naming hints at Android’s past when Google would associate certain sweet treats with each Android release. People got confused last year when the company got to Android Q, and we never actually got an official word that began with Q. The same might happen with Android R, although if Google went with a dessert, I’d bet it was either Red Velvet Cake or Raspberry.
While I don’t advise doing so, if you wanna give Android 11 a go on your Pixel phone, you can install its factory image here and its OTA image here. Note that neither I or Matridox are responsible for any damage done to your device due to the software.