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Google has now released the Android TV Android 11 Developer Preview for download, starting the TV-optimized platform’s journey to the latest version and the newest features and improvements. However, as this is a developer preview, availability at the device level is extremely limited.
Google announced the first developer version of Android 11 for mobile some time ago. Since then, the developer preview has evolved into the first beta version, opening up the support for more devices and users. In contrast, this is the first time the company has announced the Android TV version and therefore, this is not akin to the recent beta release of Android 11 mobile, but the equivalent to the developer version that came before.
While the Android mobile announcement contained far more in depth information and talking points, the Android TV announcement was much simpler, shorter and straightforward. One of the reasons for this is many of the same features will directly migrate from the mobile to TV version. For example, Google says Android 11 on Android TV will bring with it improved privacy, performance, accessibility and connectivity, without going into much further detail.
Installing Android 11 Developer Preview on Android TV
For those looking to download and get started with the latest version of Android TV, that’s not really an option right now, especially as most Android TV devices have yet to be upgraded to Android 10. As this is a developer preview, it is primarily aimed at those looking to develop and prepare Android apps for the platform and therefore, the only compatible Android TV device is currently Google’s own ADT-3 developer player.
For those that do already have access to an ADT-3 device, the system image is now available to download directly from Google (link). This is a flashing method of upgrading and as a result, users will need access to fastboot and adb tools, as well as basic knowledge of how to install an Android upgrade in this way.
Android TV Android 11 installation instructions, according to Google:
- Download the system image and unzip the file.
- Plug in the ADT-3 developer kit for Android TV and enable Developer options.
- Run flash-all.sh in the unzipped folder to perform manual system image installation to the ADT-3 device.
With this being a developer preview, it is a very early version and therefore, is likely to still be suffering from bugs and other annoyances. Furthermore, as this is a flash installation, it will require the Android TV player to be wiped of all user data, and Google has explained that there is currently no option to revert back to Android 10.
Similar to what’s already happening with the Android 11 mobile version, it should be expected that Android 11 on Android TV will be made available as incrementally improved beta versions over the next few months.