Google Postpones Android 11 Launch Event

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The virtual launch event for Android’s next version, originally set for this week, has been pushed back amidst civil unrest across the US and beyond

Google has delayed the launch of its latest Android release amidst widespread protests and civil unrest in the United States.

The company said it was not the right time to “celebrate”.

“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” Google said on Twitter.

An online launch event planned for Wednesday, 3 June has been postponed and will return “soon”, the company said.

Android 11 Image credit: Mishaal Rahman/Twitter
Image credit: Mishaal Rahman/Twitter

Beta release

Google released Android 11’s first Developer Preview in February and had planned to release the first official test version this week.

The company said in February that Android 11 includes “enhancements for foldables and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, machine learning, and more”.

The release is rumoured to include a new menu triggered by pressing the device’s power button, a version of which has already appeared on Google’s own Pixel devices.

The Pixel version of the menu, released in a March update for the devices, adds a feature called Cards and Passes, which allows users to select which Google Pay payment card they want to access when paying at a cash register.

The feature means users can quickly switch from one card to another without opening an app.

Android 11 is rumoured to include an upgraded version of the new power menu that includes the “Quick Access Wallet” feature as well as a new feature called “Quick Controls”, which displays controls for smart home devices such as network-connected cameras and lighting.

Android 11 Image Credit: Google
Image Credit: Google

Quick Controls

A leaked image published on Twitter by Mishaal Rahman also shows the feature displaying Tesla electric car features such as door locks and climate controls.

In the leaked images, camera control buttons display live images behind the text.

The feature is rumoured to make Quick Access Wallet available to third-party payment apps, such as Samsung Pay, which competes with Google Pay.

This week’s launch event, called The Beta Launch Show, was intended to replace its annual I/O developer conference, which was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Wednesday event was planned to begin with an hour-long keynote, followed by a live Q&A session with senior Google Android developers.

The event also included a list of Android 11-related talks covering areas such as new features, privacy and developer tools.

Google said it is not planning to change Android 11’s release schedule, which sees the software’s final release planned for the third quarter of this year.

The company is planning to release the final Android 11 software development kit (SDK) and native development kit (NDK) at the same time as Android 11 Beta 1.

Beta 2 is currently scheduled for July, followed by Beta 3 some time in August.

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