How to get the Android 11 beta on your phone right now
Google has made the first developer preview of Android 11 available to download and install. Here’s how to get it on your device.
What is a developer preview?
A developer preview is a beta or “work in progress” build for developers. It is typically released prior to a final rollout of the software for consumers. It also precedes a public beta for everyday users to test. Google offers the beta to collect and incorporate user feedback.
In these early phases, when the software hasn’t even been officially announced, it gives Google the chance to iron out some issues before it provides a lowdown on what exactly has changed. At this point in the rollout, it’s mostly aimed at developers, to give them as much time as possible to get their apps running on the new code and making it all work without hiccups before Android 11 lands.
Which phones support the Android 11 developer preview?
The Android 11 developer preview is only available for Google’s devices, but it will likely come to more devices with the launch of the public beta.
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3a
- Pixel 3a XL
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 XL
How can I get the Android 11 developer preview?
Traditional system image
The traditional way to get an Android developer preview is to go the system image/manual flashing route. You can download images from Google and then flash them onto your device, but it will be a fresh install, with everything erased. Here’s the site where you can download them.
This page details how to flash while also providing step-by-step instructions.
Keep in mind flashing a system image will wipe all the information off your device, so ensure you back up important data beforehand. Also, flashing additional Android 11 preview images will cause more data wipes, and, if you go this route, you will not get automatic over-the-air updates like you do with the Android Beta Program, which is not yet available for Android 11.
We hope to test Android 11 soon and will let you know what we find. If you’re not a developer, we recommend waiting to flash this OS on your Pixel phone. There will likely be tonnes of bugs, and the most exciting stuff is yet to come.
When will the Android 11 public beta be available?
Google said the public beta will arrive in May, or around Google I/O 2020, so everyday users will get a chance to test Android 11 then.
Android Beta Program
Google will likely make it as easy as possible for you to try Android 11 on a device, by offering the Android Beta Program. It allows anyone enrolled to update their Android devices to the public beta and receive over-the-air updates for free. The same beta program was used for Android Nougat, Oreo, Pie, and Android Q/11. It’s simple, as you don’t have to flash updates or anything that complicated.
When the Android 11 public beta is available, here’s how you’ll get started:
- Visit google.com/android/beta to sign-up for the Android Beta Program.
- Sign in to your Google account when prompted.
- Your eligible devices will be listed on the next page, click to enroll in the Beta Program.
- Go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update to check for available downloads. It should show up within a few minutes.
If you’ve used the Android Beta Program before the Android 11 public beta, you will need to re-enroll your phone. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll continue to be updated to every new version of the Android 11 beta automatically, over-the-air. If you don’t want those updates, or if you decide you no longer want the beta software, you can follow the steps above, but then click to “unenroll device”.