Google And Sony Bring Android N Developer Preview To Xperia Z3

Google's doing something a bit unusual with Android N, the next version of its mobile operating system. Ahead of its final coat of polish and subsequent release to the masses, Google's partnered up with Sony to make available the Android N Developer Preview for Xperia Z3 devices. That's a first for Google.

Preview versions of Android have historically been the exclusive domain of Google's Nexus devices, at least officially. But with Android N, Sony is working with Google to bring ongoing Developer Preview builds to select Xperia Z3 handsets primarily so developers can test their apps and ensure that new system behaviors for saving power and memory don't introduce any unwanted side effects.

Sony Xperia Z3 Android N

"We'll bring you the official milestone updates as they get released throughout the preview," Sony says.

What's also interesting about this collaboration is that the Xperia Z3 isn't a newer handset. It's now two years old, having launched in 2014 with Android 4.4 KitKat installed. Sony just recently rolled out an Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to Xperia Z3 owners, and now there's an opportunity to get an early look at Android N.

Whether or not the final version of Android N finds its way to all Xperia Z3 handsets remains to be seen. For now, the Developer Preview is available for two variants of the Xperia Z3, the D6603 and D6653. The firmware update to Android N is being made available through Sony's website via its Xperia Companion appl (version 1.1.24 or later).

Android N brings some neat new features for Developers to fool around with, things such as multi-window support, bundled notifications, direct reply notifications, and improved power and memory efficiency.