Google has just announced the public availability of Android 11, at least as far as the stable version of the code is concerned. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will be immediately available to end users and will still depend on manufacturers, some of which have already announced their plans in the next few weeks. Not to be outdone, Samsung has also announced the start of its beta program for One UI 3.0 which will be based on Android 11. That catch? It’s for one phone generation only.
It wasn’t too long ago that every new Android release started a guessing game of which phones will get the update and when. Perhaps finally realizing not just the technical but also the PR benefits of rolling those out quickly, brands have started racing to the update finish line.
Samsung has traditionally been notorious for its Android update practice but has seemingly turned over a new leaf after the Stagefright bug a few years back. Not only has it been pushing out monthly updates more regularly, it has also gone as far as to promise three years of Android updates for a handful of its current devices. Now it’s also one of the first to announce a beta program that will test out Android 11 in the guise of its new One UI 3.0 user experience.
Of course, there are still some things that haven’t change, like Samsung’s preference for supporting only its most recent models. That said, it’s a bit curious that the One UI 3.0 beta program, which has launched only in South Korea and the US, is available only for the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. Perhaps the Galaxy Note 20 is just too fresh off the oven to risk putting it through the fire again.
Samsung isn’t the only OEM that has raised its voice, though. Perhaps to help banish stereotypes, Chinese brands like OPPO and Xiaomi have also announced beta testing programs for their upcoming customized Android skins, all based on Android 11.