Last month, ASUS started recruiting beta testers with the Zenfone 6 smartphone for its upcoming Android 11 update. A week after Google released Android 11, the company has now started rolling out its first-ever beta update based on Android 11 to all the eligible users.
The Android 11-based Zen UI beta update comes with the build number 18.0610.2009.37 and is 1.36GB in size. Compared to other major Android OEMs, ASUS has been a little too late in rolling out the Android 11 beta update.
ASUS starts rolling out Android 11-based ZenUI update for Zenfone 6
While the beta update is finally here, the company is yet to reveal the update timeline for its smartphones. However, it will likely prioritize the flagship Zenfone 6 and Zenfone 7 series over other smartphones. Along with all the Android 11 features, ASUS is also introducing the all-new ZenUI design.
The stock launcher will lack the options for smart groups, icon alignment, and icon pack functions. It also removed the Private Listening and ZenUI Help features. Moreover, the company has integrated its own PowerMaster features into the battery settings menu for a more clutter-free experience.
Additionally, it skipped using the Avast Scanning engine. Asus also mentioned that some third-party apps might not function as intended on devices running on the beta version of Android 11. Hence, it's not recommended to use these beta builds on primary smartphones.
Navigation gestures now work with third-party launchers
Speaking of new features, the ZenUI will now support bubble notifications for messaging apps. With the notification history enabled, the Zenfone users can view all of the dismissed notifications from the last 24 hours. Finally, the third-party launchers on ZenUI are getting support for navigation gestures.
Since this is the first Android 11 beta update from ASUS, the public update might not come anytime soon. Even the current beta update is only limited to last year's Zenfone 6. Due to trademark violations, this same device was launched in India as the ASUS 6Z.
As of now, there is no mention of the Android 11 beta program for the new Zenfone 7 series. Just last month, the company unveiled the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro smartphones in Taiwan. The devices come with Android 10-based ZenUI 7 out of the box.
While the Zenfone 7 packs in a Snapdragon 865 5G mobile platform, the Pro moniker sports the Plus-variant of the same chipset. These new smartphones also come with the flip camera mechanism featuring a triple camera setup. On the front, ASUS replaced the LCD display with an AMOLED panel, which also has a 90Hz refresh rate.