Android O Beta Coming Soon, Tipped For Google I/O Launch Next Week

android o
If you’re looking to get your hands on a less buggy version of the upcoming Android O release, you won’t have long to wait. Google just announced via its official Android Beta Program website that it has officially closed the Android Nougat beta. In its place, Google says that the first Android O beta is “coming soon”. If you recall, Google released Android O Developer Preview 1 back in late March. 

Developer Preview 1 is currently available only as a manual download, which mean that over-the-air (OTA) updates are out of the question. However, Developer Preview 2, which marks the first beta release of Android O, will support OTA updates.

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According to Google’s Developer Preview timeline, Developer Preview 2 will be made available in mid-May. This just so happens to coincide with Google I/O 2017, which kicks off on Wednesday, May 17th. Developer Preview 2 will be an incremental update over the first release. Developer Preview 3 will land a month later in mid-June, and will bring with it final APIs and an official SDK. Developer Preview 4 is expected to be released in mid-July and will be offered with “near-final” system images.

The final “production” release of Android O is slated to make its way to the public during Q3. Some of the first devices that are expected to ship with the operating system will be Google’s second generation Pixel smartphones. And from that point, the race will be on for OEMs to distribute their “massaged” Android O images to consumers. We should note, however, that even though Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released eight months ago, only 7 percent of devices have the operating system installed according to Google. The majority of Android devices are still running Android 5.x Lollipop.

Android O brings a number of new features to the table including picture-in-picture, background app limits, notification channels, and adaptive icons. However, we’re sure to learn more about the major OS update next week at Google I/O.

The current Android O Developer Preview 1 (and subsequent releases) are supported on the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C. Although Google hasn’t given this upcoming major OS release a name yet, we’re all hoping for “Oreo”.