The Android 11 beta is currently being tested, and if you have a compatible Pixel device, you can get in on the action too. There are many benefits to trying out beta versions of Android, though it can be a little risky since these versions still have bugs to work out. However, if you want to try it, you can be one of the first to experience some of Android 11’s new features.
Trying Android 11 Beta
Currently, Google is only releasing the Android 11 beta to specific Pixel devices including:
- 2 and 2 XL
- 3 and 3 XL
- 3a and 3a XL
- 4a and 4a XL
If you don’t have one of those devices, you’ll have to wait. Of course, you can still learn some of the new features at the end of this post.
Since Pixel is Google’s device, the company releases betas to those devices as a special perk of buying a Pixel.
The next step is to join the Android Beta Program. You’ll have to enroll, even if you were previously enrolled in other beta programs. It’s free to join. You’ll receive beta updates and releases throughout Android 11’s development.
All you have to do is sign in with your Google account to view any eligible devices linked to your account. Find your device and click “Opt-In.” You’ll then be prompted to download the latest beta release. It’s really that simple.
While there are backdoor ways to install the beta, this can be even riskier – it’s safer to use the official Android Beta Program opt-in tool.
Beta Testing Warnings
Trying out the Android 11 beta may seem like a great idea, but it’s not without some risks. Before you download anything, back up your device completely. Any beta version of any software contains bugs, including Android 11. Google is even keeping an updated list of known issues per device for you to view before you join and to see if an issue you find has already been reported.
Google does recommend backing up your files before opting in to the beta program. The reason: you can’t go back once you’ve downloaded the beta version of Android 11 without formatting your device. This wipes all personal data and app data from your device.
If everything’s backed up, the only thing you’ll have to deal with is the time it takes to format and then download your backup to your device.
One final warning is your device may not function normally. Some apps may not work or certain features may not work correctly, such as a Bluetooth issue that was recently fixed with a June 17th update.
Benefits of Testing Android 11 Beta
Despite the risks, it’s still beneficial to be a part of the Android 11 beta testing process. You get to have your say about new features and help developers find bugs. Plus, you’re among the first users to test the newest Android features. You can even join the Reddit community for beta testers to talk about your experience with other users.
Join only if you really like to test out new things regardless of whether they are perfect just yet. You don’t have to have a technical background, though being a test user will help you better understand the Android system.
Android 11 Features
While any of the following is subject to change, one of the main benefits of being an Android 11 beta tester is trying out new features. Features change throughout each beta release and even into the final release. If you don’t plan on testing yourself, please note that some of the features listed may not make it to the final release.
Some of the top features include:
- Chat bubbles – These stay on your screen, even when you’re in other apps.
- Conversation notifications – You’ll have a dedicated conversation notification area along with a variety of options, such as using chat bubbles or getting reminders to respond later.
- Screen recorder – You’ll no longer need a separate app for recording your screen. This is built in to some devices already but not into Android itself.
- Select, Share, and Screenshot – Now you can select text, take a screenshot, or take a screenshot and share any of your recent screens when you open the Recent Screens option.
- Quick Google Home access – You can use the Power button to access Google Home features, including controlling smart home devices.
- Better permission control – You can set one-time permissions for apps, such as location and mic access.
If you’re excited but can’t try it out for yourself, don’t worry. Android 11 is set to release later this year.