Today we're getting a surprise: Android 11 Developer Preview Four. Previously, Google said there would only be three Android 11 Developer Preview releases, but the company is making a few changes to its Android 11 release schedule, and that includes this unexpected additional developer preview. The next beta release has been moved to June 3rd, where it will be dropped as part of a new Beta Launch Show online event, details for which Google published earlier today. All of the following betas on the original schedule have also been pushed back a month.
Above: Old Android 11 timeline. Below: The new timeline.
Google says that this tweaked timeline is the result of challenges posed to developers as a result of current events. The extra month will give them more time before Android 11's changes reach the "platform stability" milestone, and an extra month for developers to get Android 11 apps ready for testing (though developers should note: SDK and APIs for Android 11 are still set to be finalized in June).
In essence, the whole schedule has been moved forward by about a month. In addition to the June 3rd Beta Launch Show, Beta 2 has been kicked back to July, and Beta 3 to August.
As we learned this morning, the launch show itself will be something of a stripped-down remote I/O developer keynote. It'll be hosted by Google's Dave Burke, and will finish with a live Q&A, with other developer-centric talks originally planned to happen at I/O scheduled for later in the day. Interested parties can sign up for event updates here.
We don't know the specifics regarding changes Google has included in Android 11 DP4, the company's announcement is almost entirely devoid of details, though we're told it includes performance improvements and other iterative updates for app compatibility and performance. The update should be rolling out today, downloads are already live, and we'll be sure to dive in and see what's new inside it.
In the meantime, folks waiting for the easier beta program opt-in to try Android 11 will have to wait another month.