Android N developer preview has been outed by Google much before anyone expected and the Search Engine giant have made it surprisingly easy to test it out provided they have a compatible Nexus smartphone.
Unlike last year where the only way to try out the Android M update was to manually flash the image, the Android N preview is being provided in the form of an OTA by Google. However, you can still clean install the developer preview onto your device by making use of the factory image.
Before proceeding with the installation guide, let's warn you regarding a few issues. Firstly, the Android N developer preview isn't the most stable iteration of Android around, especially for using it as your daily driver rather it is intended for the geeks who would like to get a taste of 'N' probably Nutella even before it is launched. So you are advised to try it out provided you have a spare Nexus device lying around. Besides that, do make sure to backup all data, however it's worth noting that none of it will be deleted if you install Android N via OTA.
Just in case you get bored with Android N, and start missing Marshmallow there's always an easy way to get back to your last build. So without further ado let's get started!
Do you have an Eligible device?
Well, just like previous years the Android N Developer Preview is too available only for the recent lineup of Nexus device from Google. Here are the list of supported Nexus devices and provided your device is among them it's time to move on to the next step.
Though an Android One device from General Mobile features in the list none of smartphone available in India which are a part of Google's budget Android project features in the list. However, this doesn't mean that none of those devices will not receive the Android N update in future.
Signup for the Android Beta program
This new method introduced for the first time for checking out an Android developer preview from Google, simply requires to get the update on your supported device by following these easy steps.
- First head over to the Android Beta website on either your supported Nexus device or on your desktop.
- Then Log in to your Google account and scroll down to select your device among the list of eligible ones.
- Click on 'Enroll Device' and follow it up by agreeing to the Terms of Agreement.
- You are now done and dusted. The OTA update will be rolled over to your device with 24 hours of enrolling for the Android N developer preview.
- All you need to do then is to download the Android N preview which approximately has a size of around 1.1GB. Then simply click on Install and the Android N preview will be up and running after a few minutes.
What are the advantages of this OTA method?
This new method has some advantages over flashing the factory image manually.
- It will allow first time users without the knowledge of ROM flashing to get a taste of the latest version of Android.
- On signing up for the Android Beta Program you will be receiving new updates of Android N every four to six weeks via OTA until the final version of the built is announced. This won't be the case if you install the ROM via factory image, as you would be required to install each update manually then.
How to provide Feedback to Google?
The main reason for pushing the Android N developer preview to testers is to get their feedback, and well it's pretty easy to for you to send them across too. Here are the few steps your need to follow to send your feedback across.
- Simply go to Settings > About > Send Feedback.
- You can also post comments within the Android Beta program Google+ community.
- There's an option to report bugs to the Android Open Source Project Issue Tracker.
Bored with N? Time to switch back and here's how
After having tested out the new build of Android, you may be feeling like getting back to the previous stable iteration of Android namely Marshmallow, as the present version has to many bugs for your liking. Well, don't worry Google has you covered. All you need to do is to follow these easy steps.
- Back up all your device data including photos, WhatsApp messages etc. provided you haven't done so already.
- You need to go to the Android Beta Site again in either of your devices - be it your Nexus device or your laptop/desktop.
- Log-in to your Google account and select the device which has the developer build of Android N installed on it.
- Click on "Unenroll Device" and select Factory Reset when prompted.
- Following this you will receive a notification on your device that an update is ready to download. Apparently this new update is none other than the latest version of Android Marshmallow. It worth noting that the process of installing the update will consume little more time than what was required while installing the Android N.