The official beta for the next version of Android is now out and if you've got a Pixel spare phone, I really recommend that you check it out. If you don't, it's not my recommendation to install it — betas are never a great idea of something you really depend on and your main phone is probably close to the top of that list. I used a build near what Google released today for a week and I didn't have any catastrophic crashes, but there were some bugs.

I wrote a lot of observations and made a video yesterday detailing the new features, but something I struggled to get across at that time and I think I'm going to struggle to get through now is how much better the text experience is. I say that although essentially no apps still fully support Google's new "bubble" pop-out feature.

It's a battle to explain because what Google has done fundamentally seems so tiny. It took boxes that appeared in one place and made them appear in another. While I wouldn't go so far as to call the transformative experience, I do think it's hard to understand how good it's without using it for a while.

We'll see how I feel after a few more months, but right now I'm finding that Android 11 provides an overall messaging experience that is more pleasant and coherent than iOS.

That is a phrase I never thought I 'd write. In fact, if you simply google the phrase "messaging messages" on The Verge, you'll find it's almost synonymous with Google and yours is often really writing the article with the phrase. Can Android 11 really repair this whole thing?

Well, no, of course not. But what it has done is make a fundamental problem on smartphones more manageable. Android 11 can’t fix Google’s messaging mess, but it has made the overall texting experience on smartphones better.

The discrepancy between Google's text messaging and overall smartphone messaging is clear that Google blew up several chances to compete over mobile messaging.