Surprising almost everyone today, Google released the first developer preview build of Android N for selected Nexus devices today. The company also detailed some of the key new features that it will be introducing with Android N this year, including a split-view multitasking mode, picture-in-picture, and more.
More importantly though, the company has provided a timeline of when it will be releasing new developer preview builds of Android N and when the final release of the OS is expected to land.
On the Android N developer preview page, Google points out that it will be releasing four additional preview builds of Android N over the next few months.
Preview 1 (initial release, alpha)
Preview 2 (incremental update, beta)
Preview 3 (incremental update, beta)
Preview 4 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing)
Preview 5 (near-final system images for final testing)
The final public build of Android N will then be released to “AOSP and OEMs” and “ecosystem” in Q3, 2016. This essentially means that Google will be releasing a new ‘incremental’ build of Android N every month for the next 4 months at least.
Google’s wording — “AOSP and OEMs” makes it sound to me that the company will first be releasing the final build of Android N to OEMs, and then release it to the public along with some new Nexus hardware in September-October. This way, Google will ensure that other Android OEMs will have more time to prepare the update for their existing and upcoming devices.[Via Google]