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Google pushes back Android 11 beta release amid U.S. social unrest

Google has postponed the launch of the Android 11 beta, deciding that it is simply not the right time to push through with the virtual event.

The latest public beta for Android was supposed to make its debut at the Google I/O conference on May 12 to May 14, but the annual event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unveiling was then moved to a livestream on June 3 titled Android 11: The Beta Launch Show, which Google said would include a Q&A portion for anyone to ask questions.

Android mobile phone owners and developers have been looking forward to the new features that will arrive with the major update, which possibly includes Scoped Storage that will limit the access that apps have to the rest of the device for improved security and storage management, and a new gesture, codenamed Columbus, that may be triggered by double-tapping the back of a Google Pixel phone.

However, the wait to find out all about Android 11 will be extended indefinitely as the livestream has been postponed, according to the official Android Developers account on Twitter.

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

— Android Developers (@AndroidDev) May 30, 2020

The reason for the postponement was not specifically mentioned, but it is clear that Google is giving way to the social unrest that has enveloped the United States in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed in an encounter with the Minneapolis police after he was pinned down by officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the back of his neck.

It is unclear when Google will finally launch the public beta of Android 11, though Google told 9to5Google that the mobile operating system’s final release schedule still remains within the third quarter of the year. A leak claimed that the Google Pixel 4a would be rolled out on June 5, and if that rumor is true, the smartphone’s release date may also be delayed.

Minneapolis protests

George Floyd’s death has triggered protests across the United States, including Minneapolis where the incident occurred.

A Predator drone, which has been used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq for surveillance and combat missions, was spotted flying over the city. In a statement to Digital Trends, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said the “unmanned aircraft system was preparing to provide live video to aid in situational awareness at the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis.”

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