Android 11 Beta 2 has been rolled out by Google for all compatible Pixel phones. With the new build, the operating system has reached the Platform Stability milestone, which means that the APIs and mechanisms included in Android 11 are now complete.
Google is asking developers to start updating their apps to target Android 11 and prepare them for its official launch that will take place in the third quarter of this year. Even though Google has not officially revealed the release date of Android 11, it suggested that it could be September 8th.
Download Android 11 Beta 2
Android 11 Beta 2 is available for the Google Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4a users. If you own one of those smartphone models, you can already download the latest version of the OS for testing purposes.
If you’re not enrolled in the beta program, you can do it by signing up for it here. In addition, you can get the downloadable packages available for Pixel phones that can be flashed using the Android Flash Tool.
Major Changes in Android 11 Beta 2
One of the most significant changes the Android 11 Beta 2 comes with is the Platform Stability achievement.
“Platform Stability means that all app-facing surfaces and behaviors are now final in Android 11,” said Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android, in a blog post. “This includes not only final SDK and NDK APIs, but also final system behaviors and restrictions on non-SDK interfaces that may affect apps. So from Beta 2, you can release compatibility updates with confidence that the platform won’t change.”
Since the new beta version has all the main requirements at their final phase, developers are advised to start their compatibility testing and publish updates before the public release of the OS.
“With each release, we’re working to reduce the work you’ll need to do to get your apps ready,” said Burke. “In Android 11, we’ve added new processes, developer tools, and release milestones to minimize the impact of platform updates and make it easier for apps to stay compatible.”
A noticeable change Android 11 Beta 2 brings is the updated Pixel Launcher that doesn’t have transparency anymore, XDA Developers have noted. There’s also a Smooth Display toggle that’s been added to the display settings, which enables users to automatically switch from 60Hz to 90Hz for certain content. The Force 90Hz option the current OS has was removed, as highlighted by some users on Reddit.
The default screen recording in Android 11 Beta 2 also has the capacity to record the phone’s internal audio while capturing the screen, an addition to the existing audio recording from the microphone option.
More Adjustments Coming With the New OS
Google has also got rid of some clutter from the Share Sheet in Android 11 Beta 2 and made a pin icon accessible for apps pinned on the sheet. A new icon will allow you to launch a conversation in a bubble, as well, and the ‘Allow apps to show bubbles option’ is now available by default for all applications. The list of compatible apps, though, is not so long and only includes popular ones, such as Facebook Messenger and Google’s Messages app.
The Picture-in-Picture (PiP) window also has limited resizability in the beta version of the OS, and the Conversations now has a dedicated settings menu. XDA Developers have further noticed that the new media player released in the earlier Android 11 Beta is now accessible in the Quick Settings panel; in addition, there’s a new ripple animation effect that shows up when you tap on the play/pause button in the media player.
Android 11 Beta 2 also has a pre-installed app called Device Drop Monitor, which uses the default sensors of the phone to detect when dropping and logs the duration of the free fall. As soon as the app identifies a fall, it shows a notification to the user that asks them to complete a short survey with regard to the accident, XDA Developers have reported.
After the survey is completed, Google sends a message that says the user inputs ‘will help improve the design on future Pixel devices.’
Is the Android 11 Public Release Set for September 8th?
Together with the latest beta version of the Android, Google seems to have unveiled the launch date of the stable update. The company hosted a ‘Hey Google’ Smart Home Summit in which it revealed a slide depicting a ‘Checklist for September 8th Android 11 Launch,’ the developers at XDA have reported.
Android 10 launched in September last year, which makes sense for Google to release the new build after one year. However, there is no official confirmation on the launch date yet. It is also likely that Android 11 will initially be available to Pixel users only, but some previous releases implied that models such as the Essential Phone and some OnePlus smartphones would have access to the new update immediately after its official debut.