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Android 11 beta release event pushed back in light of US protests

Android 11
(Image credit: Google/Android)

Google had been planning on launching Android 11 in just a few days on June 3, but the company has decided to postpone the event, with no new date pencilled in.

While the company didn’t explicitly give a reason, it’s not hard to read between the lines of the 187-character tweet that announced the delay. 

“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” the tweet reads. “We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release. We’ll be back with more on Android 11, soon.”

There are essentially two possibilities here, and given the original date was given well after the coronavirus lockdown began, we can safely rule out one of them. This is likely a direct response to the protests springing up around the country in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. What began localised to the event has spread all over the country — including to the San Francisco Bay area where Google would, in happier times, be demoing its new software. 

Google isn’t the only tech company affected: the affair has seen Twitter take action against President Trump for the second time in three days. After the President saw a fact-checking link posted against one of his tweets on Tuesday, the company has hidden one of Trump’s tweets behind a warning about “glorifying violence,” much to the President’s ire. 

Against this backdrop, it’s perhaps not surprising that Google has pulled the plug on the Android reveal. Not only would it struggle to get any kind of coverage beyond the technology press, but pushing ahead with a celebration would, as the company implied in the tweet, seem pretty tone deaf in the circumstances. Given we don’t know how long the country will be in turmoil, it’s unsurprising the company has declined to name a new date, either.

We do, however, know what the virtual reveal would involve. As well as an hour-long keynote (discussing “new features packed inside the next release, Android 11, as well as updates for developers to help them get the most out of modern Android development”) and a virtual Q&A on the #AskAndroid hashtag, the company was planning on releasing 12 talks originally planned for Google I/O 2020 at the same time. These were:

  •  What’s new in Android  
  •  What’s new in System UI  
  •  All things privacy in Android 11  
  •  Storage access with Android 11  
  •  State of Kotlin on Android  
  •  Get Composed  
  •  What’s new in Android Jetpack  
  •  What’s new in Android Development Tools  
  •  What’s new in Design Tools 
  •  What’s new in Google Play  
  •  What’s new in Play Commerce  
  •  Screens – large, small and foldable 

We’ll let you know when Google is rescheduling as soon as we hear anything, but in the meantime be sure to check in on the latest Android 11 rumors for the kind of things we’re expecting from the latest OS.