Thanks to the Android Beta program, interested parties can test new Android updates in advance. It is currently the beta version of Android 11. In our guide to the Android beta program, we answer the most important questions about registering as a beta tester, downloading the preview – and how you can exit the Android beta. We also list all currently supported smartphones and other devices.
Android Beta: You should know this before signing up
Before you sign up for the Android Beta program, you should be aware of the consequences. Because you can install the pre-release on a compatible Android device without data loss, but if you then want to switch back to the old version, all user data on the device will be deleted during this process. You can of course save the data beforehand, but the process is time-consuming.
Google itself also recommends performing a backup before installing the Android beta. As a rule, the beta builds are already quite mature, but if you have sensitive data stored on your Android device, you should definitely follow this recommendation.
Warning: Even if you are dependent on certain apps, you should definitely check in advance whether they still have problems with the new Android version. Here, for example, a look at the “Known Issues” area in the official release notes is worthwhile.
Android 11 Beta: Supported devices
Not every user can register for the Android Beta program. The prerequisite is that you have one of the supported devices. You can find the current list of supported devices in the FAQ about the beta. The following Android devices are currently authorized to participate in the current Android 11 Beta (as of August 7):
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 XL
Note: The Google smartphones receive the beta updates directly from Google. Smartphones from other manufacturers are not yet available for the Android 11 beta. For which smartphones an update is generally planned, our Android 11 update list reveals.
Android Beta Program: How to register
Up to Android N, developer previews had to be manually flashed. Since the start of the Android Beta program with Android N, however, users have been able to install the current Android beta conveniently via Over-The-Air Update (OTA), as they know it from normal Android updates. The registration for the Android beta is as follows:
- Open the Android beta sign-up page.
- Make sure you are logged in with your Google account, which is set up as the primary account on your compatible device.
- Scroll down to the “My Eligible Devices” section and click “Sign In” on the device you want.
Android beta program: download and installation
According to Google, if you have signed up for the Android Beta program as described above, it will take a maximum of 24 hours for the beta to be offered as an OTA update notification for download on your device. If you don’t want to wait, you can usually initiate the OTA update manually – like this: Settings> System> System updates> Check for updates.
The notification for the OTA update appears as for normal Android updates and the download and installation also work analogously. Tap the “System update available” notification and choose Download. Due to the size of the file, we recommend a download in the WLAN.
Once all the necessary data has been downloaded, you can start the installation. The Android device is restarted for this. Don’t worry if the restart takes a little longer than usual. When the system has started up again, you will be greeted by a window in the Android Beta program. Your data should have been taken over as with a normal system update.
Leave Android Beta program – how it works
If you want to exit the Android Beta program, you have two options. The first is the lightest: just wait for the final version of the tested Android update appears. As usual, this is also offered as an OTA update. After installing the final version, you will automatically exit the beta program. To test the next beta version, you have to register separately as described above.
The other way to end the beta test is on the official website of the Android Beta program. Here you scroll again to the section “My authorized devices”, select the option for your beta device “Sign out” and receive a notification for an OTA update a little later.
But be careful: In contrast to the change to the beta version, all user data is lost when you go back to the normal version. If you really choose this option, you should back up all the necessary data beforehand.