Android 11’s beta form was scheduled to be launched with some virtual fanfare but, in solidarity with those marching on the streets, Google decided to hold back on that event for a while. Someone at Mountain View, however, may have not gotten the memo in time to stop such a beta update from rolling out to a few developers. Fortunately for us, you can’t simply pull out what’s already installed on someone’s device, giving the rest of us a preview of what’s to come.
We’ve already seen one of that change in the form of the new power button menu that will greet users. It’s a rather substantial change, of course, transforming what has always been a simple set of buttons into a new, fullscreen bunch of controls. That said, Android 11 would hardly be exciting if that was the only change, and, fortunately, that isn’t the case.
XDA editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman generously has more to share ranging from the purely aesthetic to new functionality. Bored with your squircle icons shapes? Android 11 will support three new ones that are admittedly on the eccentric side of things.
More interesting, perhaps, is the new app suggestions feature on the Pixel Launcher. Not to be mistaken for advertising apps, the feature will supposedly recommend apps that vary depending on the time of day based on your routines. Fortunately, it’s completely optional if you’re the type that doesn’t want to leave such things to chance.
There is also a “Media resumption” feature that puts a media player, not just media controls, in Android 11’s Quick Settings. This one, however, is still a Developer option, which means it may or may not make it to the final cut when Android 11 launches publicly in a few months.