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LG finally begins Android 11 beta testing, but don't get too excited

LG Velvet Review
LG Velvet Review (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • LG has started its public beta testing Android 11 for the LG Velvet.
  • The beta is only available in South Korea at the moment.
  • LG is not known to push extensive beta programs outside of its home country.

And so it begins. LG is not known to be the quickest at updating its smartphones or the most forthcoming about its update plans. The good news is that LG has just begun public beta testing for Android 11. The bad news? It's only available for the LG Velvet. The worst news? It's only available for the LG Velvet in South Korea.

It's not exactly surprising, LG is more popular in its home country than it is in the States, so beta tests usually happen their first. In fact, the U.S. is rarely included in any public beta programs from LG, at least in any significant manner. It is surprisingly late for LG to start beta testing, considering last year's public beta for Android 10 commenced in October 2019 for the LG G8 ThinQ and November for the LG V50 ThinQ. This time around, it's just the LG Velvet.

The changelog for the beta includes the following features, many of which are par-for-the-course in terms of what's available in the stable Android 11 update:

  • Added a notification window for conversation
  • Added message bubble function Added function to check deleted notification history
  • Added 'Allow this time only' function to grant permission only once when running the app
  • Added the ability to hide silent notifications IoT device control function added to the power screen
  • Navigation bar hiding function added to gesture mode Night time-lapse and quick view function added to the basic camera application
  • QR code scanning function added to basic camera application settings
  • Added keyboard size and position adjustment function

LG has been fighting an uphill battle trying to recapture consumer trust, which it lost partly due to its abysmal update strategy in the past. The company even launched a Global Software Upgrade Center to try and address this, and even though it had a long, slow start, things seemed to get relatively better with the Android 10 update. Unfortunately, it seems LG is falling back into its old ways again.

There's no word yet on if this year's LG V60 ThinQ or LG Wing 5G will be included in the beta program. Other OEMs are generally upfront about their update plans, and already pushing stable releases. For example, Samsung has already begun updating its phones to One UI 3.0, which should be rolling out to its best smartphones within the next few months.

Sign up for LG's Android 11 beta can be found on the LG Quick Help app, and is available for S. Korean users with the LG Velvet on SKT, KT, and LG U+. It is a beta, so be wary that there may be bugs and install at your own risk.

LG Velvet

LG Velvet 5G

The LG Velvet mark's the beginning of LG's new direction with a sleek, striking design and Randrop triple-camera setup. A fast, 5G chipset means you have access to the best speeds for half the price of today's top smartphones.

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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

5 Comments
  • 2020 and updates still can't come in a timely manner smh
  • Is this a news piece or an editorial piece? Please list opinion articles such as this as editorials. If you are reporting news, please keep subjective takes out of it.
    LG is not great at software updates, but other OEM's were not treated with the same backhanded nature when they were horrible at software (looking at you Samsung).
  • I remember Samsung being taken to task regarding their software/updates. Now that Samsung's actually regarded as a company with a reliable update schedule and solid software doesn't mean LG shouldn't be held accountable.
  • Simmer down. Samsung has been taken to the woodshed time and time again over updates. Plain and simple LG sucks with updates (not quite moto level of suck but still pretty bad). I mean LG can't even update their "flagships" in a timely manner. 
  • As a current LG owner I'm not overly bothered by Android 11, what I take issue with is that security updates have recently stopped arriving on my V50 despite it being only a year old...