Google Delays Android 11 Beta Announcement As Protests Rage In US Cities

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Google had planned to unveil new features to come in Android 11 on June 3, but decided to delay the unveiling. In a tweet Friday evening, the Android developer account said, “We’re happy to tell you more about Android 11, but now’s not the time to celebrate. Google says it will be “back with more on Android 11 soon,” but has not said when that could happen.

Although Google doesn’t explicitly say why, the reason is very clear. The announcement comes as many American cities are filled with protests, looting and arson. The response to George Floyd’s death in Minnesota extended far beyond the Minneapolis conflict. The bay area where Google and most of its employees are based experienced major conflicts in San Jose and Oakland the night Google called its event. It’s a brutal night here in the bay area.

As our sister site Vox.com explains:

Protests over the use of excessive force by law enforcement have surfaced across the country, including in Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, Louisville and Columbus, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was arrested on suspicion of counterfeiting and grounded by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was then pronounced dead in a regional hospital.

The incident follows a series of deaths of unarmed black individuals this year, including a 26-year-old man Breonna taylor, who was gunned down by police at her Louisville, Kentucky home in March, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging in an Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood before being shot by two white men in February.

The uprisings and the government’s response to them have become incredibly serious in recent days. Federal authorities not only flew over an unarmed Predator drone over Minneapolis, but the president’s tweet about looting led Twitter to warn him of “glorifying violence.” This kicked off a chain of events ending in an executive decree which, if it had a chance to survive court challenges, would fundamentally change the nature of the entire Internet.

On a practical level, Google has surely realized that few people would be in the mood to get excited about the new features of Android. On a human level, delaying the launch was just the right thing to do.



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