Samsung finally starts its Android 11 rollout, three months after release

Android 11 with Samsung's One UI skin.

Enlarge / Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI skin. (credit: Samsung)

Android 11 came out about three months ago, and that means it’s finally time for Samsung to get its act together and start shipping the OS out. Samsung announced on its company blog that the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra would all start getting Android 11 right now, provided you’re in “Korea, the US, and most markets in Europe.”

A three-month delay on the latest Android release is on par with what Samsung did last year for Android 10, which, at the time, was a record pace for the company. Of course, Samsung’s lineup is more than just the S20, and the company’s official timeline has the Note20, Z Fold 2, and Z Flip waiting until January. Samsung’s best-selling devices are all from the midrange “Galaxy A” line, and those are getting updated anywhere from March to June, so anywhere from six to nine months after Android 11’s release.

After the absolutely massive Android 10 release and a year plagued with COVID issues, Google didn’t pack a huge amount of changes into Android 11. The notification panel has a new persistent media player, a history section, and support for floating bubble notifications. There are new one-time permission approvals for the microphone, camera, and location, new emojis, more work toward modularity, and easier autofill. Of course, on a Samsung phone, this is all getting paved over with a custom UI—Samsung’s “One UI”—and that skin is getting updated along with Android. Android Police has a great hands-on of the beta, showing that most of the Android 11 features are intact, along with things like a new volume slider UI and a few other light touches.

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