Android 11 is officially out of beta. As is usually the case, Google’s Pixel phones are first in line to get the new update fresh out of the oven. But good news is, Android 11 is also simultaneously rolling for select OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme phones, albeit in beta.
To recall, Android 11 has been around since February at least in the form of developer previews. Android 11 public beta update has been available since June. Being a beta release until now, it was not meant for everybody – but for those who like to tinker around with software, preferably on their secondary hardware. All this changes now with Google bringing Android 11 out of beta. This means, anybody with a compatible Android phone can use it without hassle. Of course, owners of third-party devices from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme eligible for the (beta) update are still advised to proceed with caution.
Android 11: Eligible devices
Android 11 stable update is available for select Google Pixel phones only. More specifically, the following Google Pixel phones are eligible for the Android 11 update:
- Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3A, Pixel 3A XL
- Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL (officially not available in India)
Additionally, Android 11 beta update is available for:
- OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi 10, Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
- Oppo Find X2, Oppo Find X2 Pro, Oppo Ace 2, Oppo Reno 3 4G, Oppo Reno 3 Pro 4G
- Realme X50 Pro
Android 11: How to install
Installing the Android 11 update on a compatible Pixel is a straightforward process. You need to head over to your phone’s settings menu > System > System Update and check for the update. That is if it is not already showing up in your notification panel. The same is also true if you were part of Google’s beta preview. The update weighed in at just 8.08MB on my latest beta preview-running Google Pixel 3.
Third-party OEMs have their own set of processes that users need to follow to get the beta update. You can head over to their respective Android 11 beta software websites for more information. In many cases, the update will be limited to a few testers so it will be on first come, first serve basis.
Android 11: Top features
- Android 11 is designed to prioritize people and conversations in notifications. There is now a dedicated conversations section in the notification panel on top of the alert and silent tabs. Conversations club all notifications from all messaging apps in one place in the notification panel making it easier to see, respond to, and manage them. Android 11 also lets users prioritize a chat, so it always appears at the top of the list. Priority chats will also display the person’s avatar making it stand out from other notifications.
- Android 11 brings Facebook Messenger chat heads-like Bubbles that allow users to keep making these priority chats while multi-tasking without even opening the concerned messaging app.
- Android 11 brings all smart home controls directly inside the power menu. Users can access (and control) all their smart home devices (powered by Google Home) by long pressing on the power button without even opening the dedicated app(s).
- Android 11 integrate the media controls with the quick settings in the notification panel. When fully expanded, all music controls now appear at the top, above the quick settings, for easier access. There is also a new button allows users to control their audio out if they have multiple devices connected to their phone.
- Like Apple’s iOS, Android 11 also lets users grant apps access to microphone, camera or location, just once. Next time these apps need access to these sensors, they will have to ask again. Android 11 also auto-resets all the permissions granted to a certain app that has not been used for an extended period.
- Exclusive to Pixel users, Android 11 brings app suggestions directly on the home screen, new overview actions like ability to take a screenshot of an app and select text and images, and more.