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Google has launched its first public beta program for Android, with Android 11 now available to users with Google Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 smartphones. Previously, beta releases were only made available to registered developers.

Android 11 adds a range of security updates aimed at keeping users secure and improving transparency. For instance, the operating software allows users to grans one-time permissions, such as access to location, microphone or camera. Android 11 will also auto-reset sensitive permissions for apps that haven’t been used for a few months.

The new operating system also adds a range of behavioural changes.

It adds conversation notifications, which appear in a dedicated section at the top of the shade, with specific conversation actions (such as opening the conversation, creating a conversation shortcut on the home screen, or setting a reminder). The ‘bubbles’ feature allows users to keep conversations in view while multitasking.

To expand accessibility, Android 11 now offers an on-device visual cortex for voice access.

Android 11 has also improved the device and media controls, allowing users to bring up the device controls by long-pressing the power button.

Users with eligible devices can sign up to Google’s Android Beta program here. Previous Android beta enrolment does not carry over to Android 11.

Also announced yesterday, Samsung is rolling out a new software update for the Galaxy Note9, which updates the user interface to One UI 2.1. This update adds Samsung’s Quick Share (which is similar to Apple’s AirDrop), as well as a new user interface for the camera and Live Caption.

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