Android 11 Beta 1 rolled out early to some Pixel 4 users: Here’s what’s new

Android 11 Beta 1 rolled out early to some Pixel 4 users: Here’s what’s new

The first Android 11 Developer Preview was released back in February, followed by Preview 2Preview 3, and recently, Preview 4. Google was supposed to release the Android 11 Beta 1 on June 3rd, but because of reasons, the Beta Launch Show has been postponed indefinitely, along with the beta release. However, Android 11 Beta 1 still rolled out early to some Google Pixel 4 users. They managed to get their hands on the latest official software update from Google, and have shared with us everything that is new on the Android 11 Beta 1 release!

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New Features in Android 11 Beta 1

Music Player in Quick Settings Panel: Developer Option titled “Media Resumption”

Android 11 Developer Preview 1 tested out a rather controversial move of moving the music player notification up to the Quick Settings panel, letting it rest alongside the other toggles. To accommodate the music player, the Quick Settings panel will expand from one to two rows and will display the Quick Settings toggles on one side, while the music player will take up the other side. Opening the Quick Settings panel completely by swiping down once again will move the music player to the bottom of the panel, with all the toggles right above it.


This feature was present in the build but was not readily accessible, and had to be manually enabled. With Android 11 Beta 1, this feature is now finally accessible as an option. The change is that the music player now has moved to the other side of the toggles in the collapsed view, and to the top of the toggles in the expanded view.

The feature could still further change when it finally arrives on the official stable releases of Android 11.

New Icon Shapes: Tapered Rectangle, Pebble, Vessel

With the release of Pixel 4, Google introduced the Pixel Themes app. Pixel Themes lets you customize some parts of the UI such as the font, accent color, icon shape, and icon fill from a number of pre-installed choices. Developer Preview 4 had added two new icon shape options: Hexagon and Flower. Now, this list has been expanded with three more icon shapes: Tapered Rectangle, Pebble, and Vessel.

If the pattern continues, we can hope to see more icon shapes added in further Betas.

Power Menu Settings for Device Controls

One of Android 11’s key features is the Controls API, which will let developers put home automation shortcuts in the power menu. In earlier previews of Android 11, there was a “Quick Controls” section underneath the row of power menu items up top while the rest of the power menu is transparent. In Android 11 Developer Preview 4, the power menu background is dark, including the power menu items up top. Furthermore, “Quick Controls” now says “Device Controls” and there’s a description text when it’s empty that says “Add controls for your connected devices”. When you add controls from a supported app, this text disappears to make room for your favorite controls.

Beta 1 brings new “Power Menu” settings, which will control the cards & passes and Controls features within the Power Menu.

The animation provides further guidance on what we can expect on the Power Menu:

The users who received the new update could not test the new “device controls” feature since there are no applications available yet to end-users to test out the Controls API yet. That should change when Google hosts the Beta Launch Show.

Controlling App Suggestions in Pixel Launcher

The string of customizations continues in Pixel Launcher. Developer Preview 4 brought grid size customization, a tutorial for gestures, the ability to remove apps from the suggestions row, and hybrid hotseat — which suggest replacements for missing positions in the dock. Beta 1 now brings the ability to control app suggestions, along with some onboarding messages to introduce the feature to new users.

The contextual hotseat feature gets a helpful animation too:

New submenu for enabling Bubble notifications

Google introduced Bubbles last year with the second Android Q beta. The feature would allow users to view notifications and conversations from messaging apps in the form of floating overlays, pretty much like the Facebook Messenger’s chat heads. It wasn’t formally announced with the stable release of Android 10 but hidden in the developer options. With Android 11 Developer Preview 1, Google introduced new features such as the ability to take screenshots of just the bubble area instead of the entire screen.

Android 11 supports Bubble notifications by default, and now, Beta 1 adds a new submenu for enabling Bubble notifications. This submenu is present over at Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications > Bubbles.

Here is the animation that is shown on the page:

New developer option: “Wi-Fi-enhanced MAC randomization”

Starting with Android 8.0, Android devices use randomized MAC addresses when probing for new networks while not currently associated with a network. In Android 9, you can enable a developer option (it’s disabled by default) to cause the device to use a randomized MAC address when connecting to a Wi-Fi network. In Android 10, MAC randomization is enabled by default for client mode, SoftAp, and Wi-Fi Direct.

Android 11 Beta 1 introduces a new developer option called Wi-Fi-enhanced MAC randomization. This feature allows the MAC address to change every time the phone connects to a Wi-Fi network that has MAC randomization enabled.

Graphics for Accessibility Settings

This is a relatively minor change. Android 11 Beta 1 adds some graphics to some accessibility settings, namely for TalkBack and Select to Speak.

In-Development Features in Android 11 Beta 1

These features are present in Android 11 Beta 1, but they are in various stages of completion and are not ready just yet. We can expect to see these features coming to us in future releases.

Scrolling screenshots

Android 11 Developer Preview 1 included a new screenshot preview that hinted at support for scrolling screenshots. Unfortunately, scrolling screenshots are still not yet live on Beta 1.

Possible Clock customization for Lock Screen

There is a new entry within Settings > Styles and Wallpapers, called “Clock”. This settings pane contains only the default clock option for the lock screen. This hints that there may be further customizations or style options added in a future beta.

That’s all that we could find yet in this release. We expect Google to shed more light on the upcoming features when Android 11 Beta Launch Show is aired. Follow our Android 11 news tag to stay up-to-date on everything we’ve covered so far on the next Android OS release.

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About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] And my Twitter is @aamirsidd94.

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