Beta Testing Android 11 on My Pixel 3 XL

Update 9/14/2020: Google will announce new products Sept 30, 2020 (go here to participate). That includes my next phone….the Pixel 5 (ordered a Sorta Sage, Pixel 5 (8 gig RAM, 128 gig storage, 5G capable, with two back cameras one being a 16 Mpixel wide angle)….due to arrive early November) 🙂

Update 9/9/2020: Android 11 is official! It works great and it arrived just in time for me to pre-order the Pixel 5 in a few weeks. 🙂

One of the reasons, hmmmmm, the MAIN reason (except for the camera) for buying the Pixel line of phones is that I have a chance every year to get involved with beta testing the latest and greatest upcoming operating system.

Even though there are issues, for example…….with Android 11 it’s a good thing I still have my credit cards……it is more than rewarding to hop on Reddit and explain to the Android 11 Beta Group the issues I am seeing. I don’t care if anyone responds….I just like feeling like an engineer again. 🙂

What comes out of the beta testing process is a much better product, and guess what? Whenever the Pixel 5 XL comes out….I am getting it. And I feel good knowing that I played a small role in it’s development.

Like I did with videoconferencing and telecommuting….except I was MUCH more involved in those.

Anyway………..bookmark this page and come back often as I will add some stuff below as I learn more.

The issues are not a problem….just a normal thing in the development cycle of ANY technology-laden product.

Believe me….I know. 😉

Using Android 11


Taking a screenshot is now accomplished by scrolling up from the bottom of the screen. I also could NOT get a screenshot of my “home page”. Rats.

A Reddit user told me: Long press both power and the volume down buttons. Simultaneously.

It works! That’s Blaze by the way. 🙂

Screenshot! 🙂

AI Generated App Usage

Bottom row circled in red is the AI generated apps showing usage

I replaced my bottom row on the phone (which I would have shown you if I could have gotten the screen shot, got it!)) with the apps that Google thinks, using AI, I am going to use next. So far……maybe it’s early in the usage game….but, it only shows me the last apps I used. Duh…..I can design an AI that does that……;-)

Last night I replaced the AI apps with my own, and, how funny is this……I went back to the AI generated this morning because I found it to be very handy. I will keep using it to see how it works long term. For example, I play RoboDefense at about the same time everyday (to wind down). I want to see if the AI knows this over time and pops up the RoboDefense icon for me.

Update 6/15/2020: Interestingly, RoboDefense showed up right about the time I play it! VERY cool! I also noticed that early in the morning, all the news apps show up, since that is when I catch up on what’s happening (just to get depressed…..). 😉 Soooo, the AI seems to be working. 🙂


The quality of the screen is MUCH better. Not sure why, but, I will not argue.

I like the way the screen resizes a bit when doing stuff then comes back to a slightly larger version when I am done. Cool, but, not sure of the point.

I could also make the icons a bit larger because well….getting old sucks. This may not be new, but, I found it while messing around and I like it. 🙂

Messages / Texts / Conversations / Bubbles

I tagged Lori and Kristen’s texts as “Priority” and tried to implement “Bubbles”. Not yet sure how the priority is gonna work, but, I don’t see bubbles yet…..I will wait for the next version or two of beta. No rush.

Update 7 /12/2020 Beta Release 2: Looks likes bubble have disappeared! Oh well….:-)

I am seeing Lori’s icon in the top left corner when she sends me a text. I don’t think that is “Bubbles” soooo, I will keep waiting for something earth shatteringly cool. It may be “priority”? I’ll have to add someone else to test that.

“Bubbles” option needs to be set in Developer Tools….I did that, then looked a few seconds later, and it was unset. Definitely a bug! Others on Reddit have seen this and have told the developers.

Google Pay

As I mentioned at the top of this blog, Google Pay is not working in the first download of the beta. I hear it will be fixed in the next update. We will see. In the meantime, I am using my credit cards. 🙂

Update 6/18/2020: The Beta release from 6/17/2020 fixed the Google Pay issue for me. I heard that Google actually fixed it prior to this release with a server fix. I had my credit cards, so I never noticed that fix. 🙂

Apps and Android 11

Most of my apps work fine. The Costco app is causing problems as it crashes. I let the developers know.

Update 7/12/2020: After the release of Beta 2 ….. the features I use most all work normally. Bubbles seems to have been dropped, but, since we never had them…no loss. The bottom row AI is working fine (in fact, I depend on it!). The Costco app is still crashing…..come on Costco….get on the ball! 🙂

Keep checking back…..I will be learning a lot more!

Geek On!

Check out these really COOL articles on videoconferencing…..

and Telecommuting….

and Coworking….

and STEM…..

and GEEK….


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