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The N Developer Preview runs from 9 March 2016 until the final Android N public release to AOSP and OEMs, planned for Q3 2016.
At key development milestones, we’ll deliver updates for your development and testing environment. In general you can expect an update each month (4 to 6 week interval). The milestones are listed below.
Preview 1 (initial release, alpha)
Preview 2 (incremental update, alpha)
Preview 3 (incremental update, beta)
Preview 4 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing)
Preview 5 (near-final system images for final testing)
Final release to AOSP and ecosystem
Each update includes SDK tools, preview system images, emulators, reference documentation, and API diffs.
The first three preview milestones provide an early test and development environment that help you identify compatibility issues in your current apps and plan migration or feature work needed to target the new platform. This is the priority period in which to give us your feedback on features and APIs and file compatibility issues — for all of these, please use the issue tracker. You can expect some API changes across these updates.
At previews 4 and 5 you’ll have access to the final N APIs and SDK to develop with, as well as near-final system images to test system behaviors and features. Android N will provide a standard API level at this time. You can begin final compatibility testing of your legacy apps and refine any new code that is using the N APIs or features.
Also starting in preview 4, you’ll be able to publish apps to devices running Android N at the official API level, such as consumer devices that have opted into the Android Beta program. You can publish into the Google Play alpha and beta channels first, so you can test your apps with Android Beta consumers before distributing broadly on the store.
As you test and develop on Android N, we strongly recommend keeping your development environment up-to-date as preview updates are released. To make the process easier, you can enroll your test devices in the Android Beta program and get updates over-the-air (OTA) at each milestone. Alternatively, updated preview images are available that you download and flash manually.
We’ll notify you when preview updates are available via the Android Developers Blog, as well as this site and the Android N Developer Community.
What's in the N Developer Preview?
The N Developer Preview includes everything you need to test your existing apps on a variety of screen sizes, network technologies, CPU/GPU chipsets, and hardware architectures.
You can download these components through the SDK Manager in Android Studio:
N Developer Preview SDK and tools
N Developer Preview emulator system image (32-bit & 64-bit)
N Developer Preview emulator system Image for Android TV (32-bit)
N Developer Preview support libraries (for new app templates)
We’ll provide updates to these development tools at each milestone as needed.
Hardware system images
The N Developer Preview includes Nexus and other hardware system images that you can use when testing and developing on physical devices. See the Device Images page for the full list of hardware images.
We’ll deliver updated system images for these devices at each milestone. You can download and flash the updated system images to your test devices manually, as frequently as you need. This is especially useful for automated testing environments where you might need to reflash your device multiple times.
Note: Devices flashed manually will not get OTA updates like in last year’s preview. This year, you can get OTAs by enrolling devices in the Android Beta Program — see details in the next section.
OTA Updates through Android Beta Program
New for Android N is an Over-the-Air (OTA) update program that automatically delivers the latest preview updates of Android N directly to devices enrolled in the program. The program is free, and it’s open to anyone who has a supported device that’s registered to their Google account.
To enroll in the program visit the Android Beta Program site. You’ll see all of the devices registered to your account that are eligible to enroll in Android Beta.
Choose the devices you want to receive the Android N updates
Click Enroll, read and agree to the terms of service, and then click OK
Once you’ve enrolled, your device will soon receive an update. In most cases, you will not need to do a full reset of your data to move to Android N, but it’s recommended that you back up any data you don’t want to lose before enrolling the device.
As updates are delivered to your device, we recommend downloading and installing them as soon as possible. You’ll want to stay current with the latest changes in system UI, behavior, APIs, and features.
At the conclusion of the Developer Preview, your enrolled devices will receive an update to the official Android N release.
You can un-enroll your devices from the Android Beta program at any time from the Android Beta site. Before un-enrolling, make sure to back-up your data on the device.
Note: When you un-enroll, your device will be factory reset to the latest version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow (not necessarily the version that you had installed prior to enrolling the device). To ensure a clean installation, your data will be erased from the device, including contacts, messages, photos, and so on.
Documentation and sample code
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