Ahead of the rumored 8th September rollout of the stable Android 11 update, Google has released the final Android 11 beta update to developers today. The update is close to the stable release and is rolling out to Pixel phone owners right now.
Android 11 does not bring a lot of user-facing changes, except for the new smart home controls in the power menu and improved privacy settings. Therefore, Google has now achieved platform stability and urges developers to get their apps ready for Android 11 official stable release. It states that “all app-facing surfaces and behaviors are final, including SDK and NDK APIs, app-facing system behaviors,” and more.
What new features does Android 11 Beta 3 bring in tow? The only major change is the ability to run Exposure Notification apps (COVID-19 tracking apps built using Google and Apple’s API) to run without enabling the device location setting. All other apps will need this setting to be turned on before Bluetooth scanning.
“This is an exception we’re making for the Exposure Notification System only, given that it has been designed in such a way that apps using it can’t infer device location through Bluetooth scanning,” says the official blog post.
In addition, the eagle-eyed folks at 9to5Google have discovered a few new feature fixes and optimizations. You can now swipe away media controls in the quick settings menu or choose to hide the media player when a session ends. The fun Neko cat easter egg is back and we also have an official Android 11 logo under About in the settings menu.
It’s not just Google Pixel phone users who get to test the final beta release though. The Chinese giant OnePlus will show off OxygenOS 11 on 10th August and roll out the final developer preview, with all of the new features and based on Android 11, to users next week.