Historically new Android versions were unveiled at Google I/O events around May, but this time COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the event by Google.

While there was some speculation regarding an online-only event on June 10, the Android Developers team released the Android 11 Beta 1 online on the same day. 

The new version of Android does not change much of the ‘Material Design’ language that Google adopted since Android 5 ‘Lollipop,’ but it brings with it many functional updates that could enhance the user experience. 

The Beta version first allowed public users to try Android 11 features on Pixel phones newer than the first Google Pixel. But now, few OEMs have also jumped on the bandwagon and made the Beta available to their respective flagships.

Read this exclusive article in full to find out if your phone supports Android 11 Beta and Android 11. The article also briefly reviews the likely changes you will get in Android 11.  

What Major Changes  Android 11 Brings To Users?

While there are a lot of changes in Android 11, the user experience will be affected most by:

Media Controls in Quick Setting

You can now control various media playback and media output devices from the quick settings menu for immersive media experience. The color of the UI also changes according to the album artwork, neat!

Interactive Notification Shade

Notifications will now have three categories: Conversations, Alerting Notifications, and Silent Notifications.

Conversations from social messaging apps will always stay on top to allow you to make replies instantly. Also, you can continue your conversations from the notification area itself.

Updated App Switcher

The 11 Beta brings you three new features below the app cards area. You can now take a screenshot of the app, select text within the app, or share them with your referrals.

Photo of Android 11's app switcher new button options
Android 11's new app switcher  features (Photo: YouTube.com, MKBHD)

Device Control Hub 

Holding the power button longer, you can now get quick access to Google Play and Google Home shortcuts to control your payments or smart appliances more quickly.

Upgraded voice controls

You can basically control phone actions through voice commands and it works wonders!

Add the features mentioned above with a host of new privacy controls. Isn't your day-to-day experience getting more functional and futuristic with Android 11?

But Most Users Will Not Get to Experience Android 11

As per Statcounter, Android accounted for 72.6% of the worldwide mobile operating system market share in 2019. However, the predecessor of Android 11—the Android 10—accounted for less than a quarter of the total Android phones in use with Android 9 (Pie) topping the charts.

This major difference in uses occurred due to the release and update cycles of the Android operating system in smartphones.

While Google offers three years of Android software updates for their phones, OEMs (Orignal equipment manufacturers) typically offer up to 2 years of software updates for their Android phones.

Thus, if your phone was manufactured before 2019 with Android 8 (Oreo) out of the box, your phone will probably not get Android 11, even if it is already running Android 10.

Photo of Androind version 2019 staistics from Statcounter
Photo Source: Statcounter

Let’s take the case of the world’s leading Android Smartphone manufacturer, Samsung. Its 2017 flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8 plus have hardware capable of running Android 11, but they did not even get Android 10. They stopped getting major software updates from 2019 itself.

Likewise, there’s a high chance that its 2018 flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, and Note 9 will end their major software support at Android 10.

Similarly, SamMobile reports that Samsung’s S20 lineup and Z Flip will likely get two years of Android update support unless Samsung changes its update distribution strategy.

Will My Phone Get Android 11?

If your phone was manufactured in 2018 with Android 9 (Oreo) out of the box expect to get Android 11 probably around 2021. The final call still rests on respective OEMs.

You can find a speculative list that highlights which phones from major manufacturers may or may not get Android 11, here.

Photo of Android 11 relesae timeline
Android 11 release timeline Photo source: Android Developers

Similarly, all the new flagships that have released in 2020 such as the Samsung S20/S20 Plus/S20 Ultra or Sony’s Xperia 1 II are definitely getting Android 11 albeit probably around 2021.

Also, Google Pixel 5 and phones releasing around ‘Techtober’ will most definitely sport Android 11 out of the box.

Which Phone Supports Android 11 Beta At Present?

Here is the list of phones that support the Beta version at present. 

Supported Devices
Google Pixel 2/2XL/3/3XL/3a/3aXL/4/4XL
One Plus 8/8 pro
Xiaomi MI 10/10 Pro
Oppo Find X2/X2 Pro
Poco F2 Pro
Vivo NEX 3S
iQOO 3 
Realme X50 Pro

Keep updated to know about the latest news on Android 11.