Google today launched an Android O Developer Preview – the very first Android O release that’s publicly available to download. The Android O Developer Preview, offering developers with a sneak-peek at the changes in the upcoming mobile operating system. The preview update also gives the developer community an opportunity to get their apps ready for Android O, before it is officially rolled out to consumers.
Android O Developer Preview can be installed on the following devices: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Nexus Player. Android O Developer Preview brings Enhanced Notifications, Improves Battery Life, PiP Mode, More.
Here are some of the new features that this next iteration of Android will bring:-
- Enhanced notifications (with users getting “fine-grained control over different kinds of notification”)
- App background limits (for improved battery life)
- Picture in Picture (PIP) display – enabling actions like watching a video while chatting or using other apps
- Adaptive icons
- Wide-gamut color for apps
- Support for high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs
NOTE: This release is aimed at developers, and Google cautions us that it’s “not intended for daily or consumer use” as even a small mistake can potentially brick your device.
Prepare your Pixel and Nexus Devices
To begin with, ensure that you take a complete backup of all your data – contacts, messages, music, photos and videos. Once that is done, head over to ‘Settings’ on your Pixel or Nexus device. Tap on About Phone and then tap on Build Number for 7-8 times — this will unlock Developer Options for you. Once this is done, once again head over to Settings > About Phone > Developer Options and enable USB Debugging.
Now, you’ll need Google USB drivers for your Windows-based PC, which you can download from here and install. You will also need to download Android Studio, but that’s about 1.8GB in size, so as an alternative, I’d recommend downloading ‘Minimal ADB and Fastboot’ from here. Next, extract the .zip file on your desktop and open the folder (you should see files like adb, fastboot and more).
Next, hold the ‘shift’ button on keyboard, right click and click on ‘open command window here.’ Once this is done, connect your Nexus or Pixel device to the PC using the data cable. In the command window type adb devices and hit enter. Here, you should be able to see your smartphone ‘connected devices.’
Start your Download here – Now that the device is ready and connected to PC using the data cable, go ahead and download the factory images from here.
Once the zip file is downloaded, extract it and you will see files like radio.img, boot.img, system.img and more. Now, copy all these files and paste them onto ‘Minimal ADB and Fastboot’ folder.
How to Install Android O Developer Preview on your Nexus or Pixel device
Disclaimer: As Android O Developer Preview is a beta build, it is likely to have bugs. It may not be ideal to install on a phone that you use as your daily driver. Also, be careful when flashing the factory images as even a single mistake could potentially brick your device. Proceed at your own risk.
Step 1: Open ‘Minimal ADB and Fastboot’ folder, press shift on the keyboard, right click and open command prompt. Connect your Nexus or Pixel device using the data cable, type adb reboot bootloader and press enter. (Alternatively, you can also switch off the device, and press and hold combination of — Volume Up + Volume Down + Power when the device boots.)
Step 2: On the screen if it shows that your bootloader is locked, type fastboot flashing unlock and hit enter. For older devices, type fastboot oem unlock and hit enter. On the screen, you will see a prompt asking if you want to unlock the bootloader, with yes or no option. Use the Volume + or Volume – buttons to select the options, and press the ‘power’ button to select.
Step 3: After the bootloader is unlocked, once again boot to the bootloader screen using the buttons combination or using command prompt as in Step 1. Next, type flash-all and hit enter in command prompt, which will flash all the required files such as bootloader, baseband firmware, system image, radio image and the operating system. After the installation is complete, your Pixel or Nexus device will reboot to the new OS.
Step 4: Now repeat ‘Step 1’ and relock the bootloader. In command prompt, type fastboot flashing lock and hit enter. In case of older devices, type fastboot oem lock and hit enter. That’s it, you’re done.