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The Android 11 public beta comes to more phones. Here’s how to install it now – CNET

android-11

The Android 11 developer preview is live. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google’s Android 11 beta software is no longer exclusive to Pixel phones. OnePlus has already released an update for owners of its latest phones, and a few others handset makers have also announced plans to support the new OS. The early beta brings several new features to notifications and texting, greater privacy tools and a cool new quick control screen that pops up when you long-press your phone’s power button. Here are the Android 11 features I’m most excited about.

If you want to help Google test Android 11 before its full launch later this year, you can sign up for the Android beta program. But be forewarned, this is very much a beta build of Android 11, and it will have plenty of bugs and issues that could be deal-breakers for you. If you’re going to take part, be willing to deal with random app crashes, poor battery life and some features flat-out not working. 

With that out of the way, here’s what you need to do to get Android 11 today.

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android-11.png

Google has turned Android up to 11. 

Google

Android 11 beta works best on Pixel phones

If you have a Pixel 2 or newer, you’re able to install Android 11 right now. Specifically, that includes the following phones: 

Google’s Android 11 blog post stated that the beta will launch on more devices in the coming weeks, and now we have a better idea of some, not all, of the companies that will take part. 

Now playing: Watch this: Android 11: What’s new in the public beta

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What if you don’t have a Pixel phone?

Well, your experience is going to be hit or miss. Some phone-makers, such as OnePlus, have already released an Android 11 beta build for select devices. Others, including Samsung, have stayed quiet about the matter. But Samsung has never participated in any of the Android beta programs, so we don’t expect it to start now. Below you’ll find links to those companies who have announced or launched plans to release Android 11 beta builds for their phones. 

Keep in mind, the beta operating systems aren’t finished and are very likely full of bugs and issues that could affect your daily use. We don’t recommend installing it on your main phone.

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android-11-opt-in

Android 11 is a beta, and Google does its best to remind you of that fact. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You’re a few clicks away from Android 11

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pixel-4-xl-android-11-opt-in

Opt in to the Android 11 beta program with just a click. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you have a Pixel phone, then visit the Android Beta Program website and sign into the same Google account you use on your phone. Read through the page, and pay attention to the warnings and caveats that Google lays out. 

At the bottom of the page will be a list of any phones you have that are eligible to participate in the Android 11 beta program. Click on the Opt-In button below the phone you want to test on, and then accept the terms and conditions and click Join Beta

Next, pick up your phone and go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update and, finally, Check for update

It may take a few minutes for the registration process to complete, meaning the update won’t show up right away. Just keep checking for the update and eventually it will show up. 

I was able to enroll my Pixel 4 XL just minutes after Google’s announcement went live this morning, but the beta website has since reverted back to the Android 10 beta and my phone hasn’t received the update yet. If the beta website isn’t working for you yet, just keep checking back.

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If you have a Pixel phone, you’re in luck. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Leaving the Android beta program

It is possible to go back to the latest version of Android 10, but keep in mind that doing so means your phone will be factory reset and you’ll have to set it up and potentially lose data. 

To leave the beta program, visit the beta website and click on the Opt-Out button below your device. You’ll then need to install a software update on your phone, which will reset it and bring it current with the latest Android 10 release.

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android-11.png

Google shared its roadmap for the final Android 11 release if you don’t want to join today. 

Google

Remember, we’re still months away from a final release

The final release of Android 11 will take place at some point during the third quarter, most likely (if history is any guide) in August or September. 

My advice? Resist as long as you can before installing Android 11, even with the first public beta now available… wait. Sure, this build likely has fewer issues and bugs than the developer previews do, but it won’t be perfect. The longer you can wait for more updates to be released, the better. 

To tide you over, read more about Android 11 and everything it includes.

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