Google's giant mistake allows some Pixel 4 XL users to install the first Android 11 beta
XDA's Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) has received DMs from a couple of Twitter users stating that they have received the first beta version of Android 11 on their Pixel 4 XL units. One of the two even sent Rahman a screenshot showing that the files for the update weigh in at 736MB. Originally, the first beta version of Android 11 was expected to drop last month during the Google I/O Developers Conference. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced Google to cancel the annual affair and the company decided to move the beta release to June 3rd.
Google has yet to announce a new date for the first official Android 11 beta launch
But fate stepped in again on Saturday when Google announced that it was postponing the release of the first Android 11 beta. The delay had nothing to do with the coronavirus but everything to do with the social unrest that spread across the United States Friday night and all-day Saturday. While Google has yet to announce a new date for the release, the updates received by the two Pixel 4 XL users carried the build number of RPB1.200504.018.
Some Pixel 4 XL owners received the first Android 11 beta update by accident
In 2016, some Nexus 6P users received Android 7.0 ahead of the latter's official release. However, that update was an internal dogfood build that stated, "Confidential internal only." That label is missing from the Android 11 beta update received today by Rahman's sources. This indicates that what has leaked here is a version of the beta release intended for public consumption.
Three new icons for Android 11 appear in the first beta update
The XDA scribe also shared some of the new Android features (new since the last Developers Preview) that were shared with him. It appears that there will be three new icon shapes including the IconShapeVessel, IconShapeTaperedRect, and the IconShapePebble. Another change appears when an Android 11 user long presses on the power button. A new menu called Quick Control will allow the user to control his smart home devices and more. Android 11 will also allow users to control the app suggestions he or she receives from the Pixel launcher. These are based on the user's most recently-used apps, the most-used apps, and routines. Suggested apps that Google thinks that you will open next can be made to appear at the bottom of the Home screen.
Get Android app suggestions on the bottom of the Home screen
This boo boo made by Google could result in the company releasing the beta on June 3rd after all, or not too long afterward. Once that happens, owners of the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be able to join the Android 11 beta program. Pixel users will be able to open the Android Beta Program website and simply tap on the model they own to receive the update OTA. But there is a huge caveat. Once you install the beta on your phone, you are stuck in the program and must receive all of the beta releases until the final version is dropped unless you are willing to factory reset your handset. And considering how buggy these beta versions tend to be in the beginning, we would recommend not joining the beta program with your daily driver until the third beta is released. We did that last year with our Pixel 2 XL and it worked like a charm.
Along the way, there will be other phones besides Pixel models allowed to join the program. For example, last year phones like the Asus ZenFone 5Z, the Essential Phone, Huawei Mate 20 Pro (seems strange to see in mid-2020), LG G8 ThinQ, Nokia 8.1, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, Oppo Reno, Realme 3 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ3, Tecno Spark 3 Pro, Vivo X27, Vivo Nex A, Xiaomi Mi 9, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G were allowed to install a late beta version of Android 10. What phones will be allowed to join the Android 11 beta will be revealed at a later date.