On the very heels of Android 7.1.2 Developer Preview 2, Google has announced the Android O Developer Preview. In a surprising announcement, that really shouldn’t have been surprising because of last year’s early Android N Preview release, Android O in all its initial glory has been officially announced, and it’s available now in the form of an early developer preview. Here’s everything you need to know.
Like last year, Google has released its major Android Developer Preview ahead of Google I/O so that manufacturers and developers can start testing the version of the operating system early. The ultimate goal last year was to get Android N updates rolling out to devices early, in hopefully reducing Android’s fragmentation, but we later learned that this didn’t exactly turn out as planned. If previous years are to go as precedents, than Android O will get a dessert name that starts with letter “O,” and a version number this Fall, just prior to a public roll-out. Word is that there will be four Android O previews before the public release, round two in May, preview three in June, and a final preview coming in July. Sounds like a familiar strategy right?
Earlier today, Google posted out to its blogs and social accounts about the next major overall for the Android mobile operating system. Google also published system images for us to test out, although not recommended given the Alpha-like condition of the software which will contain bugs and performance problems among other stability issues. However, if you have an old Nexus or extra Pixel lying around, the option is there.
Android O comes after Android N, as the alphabet suggests. However, no such name has been disclosed yet nor a version number (Android 8.0?). Owners of compatible Nexus and Pixel devices can flash images, but not get the software just yet by enrolling in the Android Beta Program, as it is not yet ready to roll out over-the-air.
Supported devices include the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C tablet. All else will have to wait until the public roll-out of the software, expected this Fall. And still, the age of your device and brand hints at no promises. Once the update becomes available publicly, 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! We’ve put together a separate post that entails all the major changes and additions found in Google’s first developer preview of Android O. See it below
Installation: The files are available here. We’ll update you with instructions to updating and using the Android Beta program once we get clarification from Google on the status. This may not be until Google I/O.