- The Android 11 beta release date was just postponed, as Google decided to cancel the launch event it had planned for June 3rd.
- Google announced the change of schedule via Twitter, saying that “now is not the time to celebrate.”
- The move comes in response to the wave of protests against police brutality that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Google released the first Android 11 beta version a few weeks ago, but that’s just the developer preview that usually precedes the formal introduction of a new Android version. The official reveal typically happens in May, and then the first public beta rolls out a few months ahead of the final version. But 2020 has been anything but typical, as the novel coronavirus changed everything we took for granted. Google was forced to shut down its events, and this year’s I/O was canceled entirely. The Pixel 4a launch was pushed back as a result, and so was the Android 11 reveal and the release of the first public beta.
Google planned to announce Android 11 on June 3rd, nearly a month later than it normally would have, but that’s not happening either. This time around, it’s the recent wave of protests in Minneapolis and other places following the murder of George Floyd.
“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” Google wrote on the official Android Developers Twitter account a few hours ago. “We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release. We’ll be back with more on Android 11, soon.”
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
Google doesn’t explicitly address uprisings, but the release delay is clearly related to the escalating events surrounding the death of Floyd and other unarmed black individuals killed by police in the past few months.
Protests against police brutality intensified in Minnesota this week, leading to an unexpected turn of events. In a matter of days, we saw police clashing with protestors and going as far as arresting CNN reporters who were covering the protests. The reporters were freed and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz apologized for the arrest of the journalists, saying that “it was totally unacceptable.”
As the protests in Minnesota were unfolding, Trump took to Twitter to address them but managed to get one of his messages flagged for the second time in a matter of days. This time around, the tweet that contained the remark “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” prompted Twitter to censor it for glorifying violence. It then applied the same flag to a White House tweet that quoted the same message.
Separately, federal officials were flying an unarmed Predator drone over Minneapolis on Friday for surveillance purposes.
Later on Friday, police officer Derrick Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin was the arresting officer seen holding his knee on Floyd’s neck in a video that went viral. Floyd died on Monday. Protests over police brutality continued across the country, with some turning violent.
All of this is happening during an ongoing health crisis sparked by the novel coronavirus that’s able to spread with ease inside communities and crowds, such as the gatherings of people taking part in these protests. With all that in mind, celebrating Android is something that has to be postponed and it will be interesting to see if Sony follows suit with its June 4th PS5 event.