Google has recently released Android 11 Developer Preview, a program that gives developers everything they need to make the apps compatible and build for the next version of Android. The program is free, and one can get started right away by downloading the Developer Preview SDK and tools.
Here’s how you can get started as Android 11 Developer Preview is available on Google Pixel 4 / 4 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, and Pixel 2 / 2 XL devices. Mind you! Google has revealed that “Developer Preview releases are early baseline builds for developers only. Because they’re not suitable for daily use by early adopters or consumers, we’re making them available by manual download and flash only.” In order to flash these baseline builds, simply adhere to the following steps:
Firstly, note that you’ll need to do a full reset. Therefore, ensure to back up your data first.
Secondly, Google has stated that at each milestone, it will offer system image downloads that one can download and flash themselves. To make manual download and flash easier, the tech giant is also offering preview system images through the Android Flash Tool, just connect your device by USB and go. Mind you! One can flash Developer Preview builds direct to their device using the Android Flash Tool.
Thirdly, once a developer has flashed a Developer Preview build to their Pixel device, they’ll automatically be offered over-the-air updates for later Developer Preview and Beta builds.
Lastly, head to the Downloads page for Flash Tool, system image downloads, and complete flashing instructions. One can choose to revert to a production build at any time – to do that, they need to flash the appropriate system image from the Pixel factory images page. Remember, one needs to do a full reset in this case as well.
According to Google, “If you are not a developer but you want to try Android 11, please wait a little longer – we’re expecting to open Android Beta enrollments in the next several weeks.”
As far as Android Emulator is concerned, Google revealed that “Even if you don’t have access to a hardware device that can run Android 11, you can still participate in the Developer Preview by setting up an Android emulator for development and testing.”
In a blog post, Google has stated that configuring the Android emulator to run Android 11 Developer Preview is a great solution for exploring new features and APIs and testing with Android 11 behaviour changes. Setting up the emulator is fast and convenient and allows you to emulate various screen sizes and device characteristics.
Moreover, Google has further notified that one can set up an emulator with Android 11 Developer Preview from inside Android Studio. All that has to be done is just install the latest system image and create a new virtual device as follows:
- In Android Studio, click Tools > SDK Manager.
- In the SDK Platforms tab, select Show Package Details at the bottom of the window.
- Below Android 11 Developer Preview, select a system image, such as Google APIs Intel x86 Atom System Image.
- In the SDK Tools tab, select the latest version of Android Emulator.
- Click OK to begin installation.
- After the installation has finished, select Tools > AVD Manager, and follow the instructions to create a new AVD.
- Be sure to select a Pixel device, and select R for the system image.
- When you return to the AVD Manager’s list of virtual devices, double-click your new virtual device to launch it.
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