Google recently confirmed that Android 11’s lock screen will not display album art when you’re playing music on your device. The feature is one of many changes being made for the new OS, and in this case, that is specifically affecting media playback.
Previously, album artwork was displayed across the entire lock screen, and Android 10 added a nice blur effect to contrast any notifications that came in. The artwork would change as you worked your way through your playlist, and go back to your personalized lock screen wallpaper when you weren’t playing music.
Initially, there was a bug report on Google’s Issue Tracker claiming that lock screen album art disappeared if the face unlock feature was enabled. Google simply responded with “We no longer show album art on the lock screen in R,” apparently considering the appearance of the album artwork (rather than the disappearance of it) to be the bug, and that it has “fixed” it in an upcoming build.
User response to the removal of the album artwork for Android 11/R is split. Some are annoyed by the lack of an explanation for this change on the Android team’s end; others didn’t like how it hid the wallpaper they chose, especially because many media apps offered no settings for disabling it.