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Google usually releases the developer preview of its newer version of Android operating system in March but this year, the company is doing so a bit earlier. It has now released the the first developer preview of Android 11 for Pixel phones.

The upcoming Android 11 is now available as system images for Google Pixel devices, starting with Pixel 2 as there’s currently no way to install this developer preview over-the-air (OTA). It means that the system images are now available for the Pixel 2, 2 XL, Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, Pixel 4, and 4 XL, as well as Android Emulator.

As the name of the release itself indicates, it is not meant for regular users but instead are a way for developers to test their applications and get a head start on making use of the latest features.

Dave Burke, Google’s Vice President of Engineering said: “With Android 11 we’re keeping our focus on helping users take advantage of the latest innovations, while continuing to keep privacy and security a top priority.”

He further adds that the company has added multiple new features to help users manage access to sensitive data and files, and has also hardened critical areas of the platform to keep the OS resilient and secure.

The newer version of the operating system come with several new features and capabilities such as enhancements for foldable smartphones and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, machine learning, and more.

Apart from releasing it earlier, the company is also departing from the usual release strategy and instead of directly offering Beta release, it is starting with Developer Preview 1 for the development-specific users. As for the public release, it is expected to start rolling out from the third quarter of this year.