Hands on with Android 11 Beta 1—A new media player and suggested apps

Hands on with Android 11 Beta 1—A new media player and suggested apps

There would possibly be truly nothing else? —

The Android 11 Beta gets a surprise free up with limited fanfare.

Ron Amadeo

Logo for Android 11.

Android 11’s first “beta” free up is in the ruin out after a form of delays. The beta free up works on the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4, and enrolling for the beta OTA at google.com/android/beta. is noteworthy straight forward. Previously, the Android beta has launched simultaneously on hundreds of third-occasion devices, but that’s now not the case this year. To this level, OnePlus has also shipped the beta, and that’s the reason about it. Google says that more devices are coming “in the coming weeks.”

The Android 11 Beta has gone thru a wild traipse. First, it used to be supposed to debut on the Shoreline Amphitheater for Google I/O in Could also 12, but the physical event used to be canceled resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Then it used to be supposed to debut in an on-line version of Google I/O, but that used to be canceled, too, as each person used to be calm looking out to take care of the logistics concerns the brand new shelter-in-plight requirements. And not utilizing a free up in Could also, a surprise fourth preview free up of Android 11 used to be created, and the Beta used to be delayed till June 3, when Google would withhold an on-line event for “The Android 11 Beta Delivery Expose.” The on-line Android 11 originate direct used to be delayed, too, resulting from the ongoing nationwide protests in opposition to police brutality and the dying of George Floyd. In its most current blog post, Google says the on-line originate direct is also canceled fully, and, surprise, the firm is urgent the originate button now with zero fanfare. No longer since Google canceled the originate of the Nexus 4 resulting from Storm Sandy in 2012 has a Google originate been this form of hot, hot mess.

With the Android 11 Beta in the ruin stride for originate, we’re calm seeing slightly of a mini I/O, regardless that each event is canceled. Google posted two blog posts, a form of documentation, and 12 movies conserving new sides of Android 11. The firm is also planning “11 weeks of Android,” a series that will witness new developer talks posted each week. To this level, the inability of fanfare seems relevant for Android 11, which seems luxuriate in a smaller free up than now we agree with gotten in old years. This beta most attention-grabbing has two new standout sides we are able to shriek.

The brand new Like a flash Settings media participant

  • Substances with “devoted spaces” in Android 11 could be the media controls, the brand new conversation notification part, and urged apps.

  • The brand new media participant, entire with a brand new audio output selector in the lawful screenshot.

  • Give a enhance to the lawful API and the media participant will be chronic.

  • A gif of the audio output controls.

As for what’s certainly new in the beta when put next to the old four Android 11 Preview releases, the headline feature appears to be the brand new media participant. One of the well-known subject matters identified in the newly posted System UI developer talk is a “devoted chronic space” for many key bits of phone functionality, and the media is one in every of those ingredients getting a customised space.

Sooner than, the media participant used to be a different notification in the notification checklist, and it had a form of labor poured into it, getting customized controls, colors, and more. Now, the media participant is getting its possess space in the Like a flash Settings, above the general notifications. Within the beta, it is some distance well-known to expose this chance on in the developer settings (it is known as “Media Resumption”), but whenever you finish, you’re going to web the brand new participant for most apps.

The brand new snappy-settings participant largely works luxuriate in the old notification participant. You web a plight of developer-defined controls, a seek bar (a minimal of, for now), and the same old tune knowledge. The one new feature is an audio output picker, which lets you receive between the phone speaker and any connected Bluetooth devices. It would possibly per chance be good if this worked for Chromecast devices, but it would not.

One of the well-known additions to the snappy-settings participant is that you per chance can moreover agree with a lot of gamers straight away. Must you agree with something luxuriate in a track app and a podcast app that you have executed nowadays, each will dwell in the snappy settings as playing cards you per chance can moreover swipe between horizontally. Maintain in thoughts there’s also a horizontal seek bar on each of those playing cards, so it is straight forward to accidentally mess up the seek bar while swiping between apps.

If builders can finish some work to create their media participant in the carousel chronic, that skill this would possibly per chance moreover luxuriate in up there even when the app is shut down, it can per chance persist even thru reboots. The premise is that you’d always agree with a plight to with out effort birth track or podcasts from the place you final left them. Doing this in a diagram that’s now not tense sounds now not easy, and for now—with the total lot as a half-implemented beta that is paunchy of bugs—it is absorbing to think. For now, one explain of us are working into is that there’s also a chronic participant on the lock show hide hide, even must you do not seem to be playing media, and that’s the reason tense.

  • The Android 11 Beta media controls don’t seem to be carried out. The UI in Google’s blog posts and slides is a more in-depth-to-closing version.


    Google / Ron Amadeo

  • The brand new snappy-settings media participant, and Google’s mockup media participant, is now not as good having a seek for as the hot notification participant. I truly stride over the album-art work backgrounds.


    Ron Amadeo

The brief settings in Android agree with two indicate modes: a compact indicate on the top of the notification panel, and an expanded seek for must you pull down the notification panel as soon as more to characterize the paunchy snappy settings. The media participant goes lawful alongside with this, showing a compact and expanded seek for to your media controls. Ethical now, the code transport in Android 11 beta 1 would not line up with the photos in Google’s blog posts and slides, though.

First, the compact media participant for the time being in the Android 11 beta is fully defective and crazy, and it is next to the snappy-settings icons. You web this limited limited media participant squished into the left half of the notification panel and the snappy settings icons squished into different half. This structure will potentially certainly now not witness the sunshine of day in a closing free up. Google exhibits a obvious UI in its blog posts and developer slides though, and this UI makes a lot more sense: the compact media participant lives below the snappy-settings buttons as a paunchy-width participant interface, trusty luxuriate in the notification media participant. The compact seek for would not agree with a seek bar, but you web album art work, tune knowledge, controls, and—something that the particular free up would not finish yet—a title bar of forms on the top, showing the app name and the audio output.

The expanded media participant build in the beta free up lives above the snappy-settings controls, but Google’s mockups direct it below the snappy-settings controls, which we are able to salvage would possibly be the distance in the final free up. Striking the participant below the snappy settings will mean this would possibly be at some level of the middle of the show hide hide when the snappy settings are expanded, which is able to be so worthy less complicated to reach when put next to the very high. This expanded participant gets a seek bar and more buttons.

Beta fights alpha

I truly must shriek, I get rid of the build of the old notification media participant to each the beta snappy-settings participant and Google’s mockup build. It seems luxuriate in Google is inserting off the background album art work that used to be recent in the media notification, which is a disgrace. Google’s mockups and the beta build also set the seek bar in the middle of the participant, the place the notification had it on the bottom. I aid triggering the seek bar after I agree with to swipe to swap gamers, and inserting it smack in the middle of the cardboard is now not serving to.

For now, the build of the snappy-settings media gamers is more or much less a huge number. It’s a beta, it is buggy, and it goes to swap in myriad methods between now and the free up.

Suggested apps

The left two apps, SoundCloud and Spotify, are suggested apps.

Enhance / The left two apps, SoundCloud and Spotify, are urged apps.

The different feature is new urged apps functionality on the house show hide hide. Bringing this up is de facto unintuitive—must you undergo in thoughts one in every of your sleek dock icons, as a change of a blank space, you’re going to web a urged icon space. The OS will swap in apps right here that it thinks you’re seeking to must make utilize of next, rather than the apps that are already to your personal house show hide hide. Suggested apps web a colored circle around them.

Having an enviornment for urged house-show hide hide apps sounds luxuriate in a honest accurate concept, but must calm that plight be the dock? Ethical now, the bottom row of app icons house my most-aged apps. I build now not truly prefer to amass away them and don’t prefer some algorithm to receive my high-five apps. I do know what those are. What I build now not essentially know are apps six thru 20. It would possibly per chance be good if this house-show hide hide advice ingredient used to be in numerous locations.

Instead of the brand new vitality-show hide hide menu, which already launched on Android 10 Pixel devices, that’s, uh, trusty about it for designate spanking new beta sides? To this level, Android 11 is shaping as much as be a truly limited free up. Must you’re having a seek for to amass a seek for on the free up yourself, be warned that this free up is gorgeous buggy on my Pixel 4, with oodles of murky monitors and different concerns that require a reboot.

Proceed…