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[Update: Beta too] Pixel 4 face unlock breaks if you downgrade from Android 11 preview

Google’s Android developer previews are pretty stable considering they’re early versions of software, but they’re still prone to random issues. With Android 11 DP4, Google is warning Pixel 4 owners that face unlock will be broken if they downgrade back to Android 10.

After installing Android 11 DP4, Pixel 4 owners who decide to downgrade back to stable Android 10 will be left with a tough decision — is a more stable software build worth losing face unlock? Google says:

Face Unlock can no longer be set up on a device that is running Android 10 if the device was running the Android 11 Developer Preview and then was flashed back to Android 10.

The reason for why face unlock breaks after downgrading from Android 11’s fourth developer preview is unknown, but this luckily isn’t intended behavior. Google lists this as a “user-facing issue” which implies that the company intends to fix it in a later release, possibly the first beta release which arrives next month.

Update 6/11: Bad news everyone, the first beta doesn’t seem to fix this issue. One user in our own comments section who upgraded to the Beta and decided to switch back to Android 10 report that face unlock is broken in exactly the same way. Obviously, this is a small sample size, but be wary.

In the meantime, though, you may want to avoid installing DP4 on a Pixel 4. Developer previews aren’t well-suited to use on a daily driver device. With such core functionality breaking upon a downgrade, it’s just not worth the risk if you ask me. Install at your own risk.

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