Google introduces Android O Beta Program with Developer Preview 2 at I/O 2017

As we speak, Google I/O 2017 is taking place in Mountain View, California where developers, Google enthusiasts and media have all gathered round to learn what’s next in tech. In late March, Google announced the first Android O developer preview right on the heels of heels of Android Nougat 7.1.2. The software has been in alpha-like condition ever since, that is until today. During today’s keynote address, Google fully unveiled the next version of its operating system, Android O as we know it to be for now, and announced the release of a second Android O developer preview. The company also confirmed that there will be no future Android Nougat maintenance updates.

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Google seems to be moving forward with a similar strategy as last year, which is to release several developer previews earlier than usual so that manufacturers and developers can prepare the update for their devices and/or apps ahead of the public roll out. Though last year, this didn’t exactly turn out as planned. The public release of Android O is said to happen early this Fall around the time we expect to see Google hold a hardware event to unveil new Pixel phones and more. Prior to that, Google confirmed that there will be no more or less than two additional developer preview updates, one coming in June and the other coming in late July.

While on stage today, Google unwrapped Android O and some of its major features. Some we already speculated about following the release of the initial Android O developer preview, but today we have the first beta version of Google’s Android O software. It’ll now be up to us to report feedback on the platform so that Google can clean up and address any bugs or performance issues for the next beta release. Some features in this version of the update are still unfinished, meaning they won’t work as they should, and the remaining are yet to furnished, so expect those occasional error messages. Android O is far from ready for the prime time, so don’t install it on your daily driver, but today is a good indication of good things to come. Learn how to send Google your feedback in the below snippet we’ve included from the Android Developers site.

Give us your feedback

As always, your feedback is crucial, so please let us know what you think — the sooner we hear from you, the more of your feedback we can integrate. When you find issues, please report them here. We’ve moved to a more robust tool, Issue Tracker, which is also used internally at Google to track bugs and feature requests during product development. We hope you’ll find it easier to use.

Google failed to mention what version of the operating system Android O will be, but our guess is 8.0 despite only minor adjustments being made. Google didn’t disclose the name of Android O either, so y’all will have to dwell for a bit longer. We expect Google to announce more details concerning the dessert name that will start with the letter “O” and represent the upcoming OS prior to its official roll out, which is slated for the Fall. So how’s everyone liking Android Oreo?

Android is active on over a billion mobile devices, which makes it kind of hard to carry out a successful roll out especially given all the manufacturer skins and carrier bloat. However, Google has remained disciplined to figure out a way to ease the fragmentation that exists. The system images for Google’s second Android O preview will soon be live. We’ll post those links near the bottom of the post. Google plans to update the preview system images and SDK regularly throughout the O developer preview. As a reminder, only owners of compatible Nexus and Pixel devices can flash the new version, and doing so will cause your device to be erased. It’s not recommended by Google nor us to flash images unless you’re familiar with the process since it can be a bit cumbersome. For the rest of us, Google introduced a second option for installing the preview update, which is via the Android O Beta Program. Google concluded its Android Nougat Beta Program, and this one will work in the same way.

The Android O Beta Program allows select Nexus and Pixel owners to enroll for over-the-air updates. Once the user opts into the program, they are instantly in. Exiting before it reaches the end of its life will result in data loss. If one stays on the program up through the public release, no data will be lost, but the occasional hiccups will be present with each preview. There may also be maintenance preview updates that come after the public roll out. During the beta journey, users will still get security patches each month as normal. Supported devices include the Pixel, Pixel XLNexus 5X, Nexus 6PNexus Player, and Pixel C tablet. All else will have to wait until the public roll out of the software, expected this Fall, to even have a chance. Once the update becomes available for the masses, we’ll get a better idea of who this entails.

Android O introduces a number of new features including redesigned notifications (again), performance and battery improvements by further restricting background data, picture-in-picture mode, new adaptive icons, auto-fill in apps, and much more! See this post that was wrote up in March that shows the full list of what’s new and what’s coming. Don’t get too attached to your favorites, since there’s no telling whether or not they’ll stay.

Installation: The files will be available here. Follow the instructions at your own risk and be sure to let us know what you think Android “O” will stand for in the section for comments. Does this update seem worthy of version 8.0? Let us know and we’ll be there to assist you and express our own thoughts. Sign-up right here -> [Android Beta Program]

Learn about the new features Google announced: Google shows off some of the major new features in Android O

Watch Google’s event online right here.

Stay tuned to none-other than Droid Turf throughout the day for all coverage out of Google I/O 2017, as we’re your one stop destination for extensive coverage of the Android Ecosystem. Read more of the latest Android O coverage here

[Click here for the latest Google I/O 2017 coverage]

SOURCE [Android Developers]

About Doug Demagistris 1627 Articles
Doug Demagistris is the Founder and current Editor In Chief of Droid Turf. He grew up in New York and now attends Bryant University where he is studying marketing and communication. He has been and always will be a Google enthusiast thanks to Android’s customization, flat design and exceptional integration with various Google services. Currently, Doug uses a Pixel 2 XL as his daily driver for its unique design, powerful hardware, exceptional camera, and stock experience. For shorter instances, he’ll glance at his Huawei Watch. And for more productive work, you’ll find him typing away on his Pixelbook. Doug is hopeful his productivity will make lives easier, more meaningful and help down the road.