Android N developer preview has been around for quite some time now. The software was released earlier than usual, something that has also prompted an earlier than usual release for the final version.
In the past two or so years, Google introduced a program that lets users try out the early builds of the latest Android operating system. It began with Android 5.0 Lollipop back in 2014 and went on with Android 6.0 Marshmallow the following year. As mentioned earlier, the same has also happened this year, but in a record time.
Just like in the past, this year’s Android N preview was availed to software and app developers. The main reason for handing this group of people the preview build is for them to start running tests for their respective apps as they look to integrate them into the new firmware’s functionality. To make things even harder for those who may want to get a taste of what Google is brewing is the fact that the latest Android N is only compatible with a number of Google-owned devices.
As for now, Android N preview can only be accessed by those using the latest Nexus devices as well as Nexus Player and the Google Pixel C. There is no room for devices from other manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, and Sony, among others. Despite their omission, these OEMs haven’t stopped coming up with their own beta versions of the same OS, but these are based on skinned preview versions and they only reach a few markets.
In a bid to give more room for testers to come in, Google might be tempted to allow those using devices from other manufacturers to actually access and test the Android N developer preview. This news comes after a Reddit user discovered a strange code hidden in Android N preview page. Under the “What’s New” section, Google seems to be confirming that OEM partners will soon start receiving the developer preview version of the latest OS. In addition, the string claims that the process will not require any flashing of the device, something that is a huge welcome for non-Nexus users.
Even though this might be exciting news, it somehow sounds quite unachievable. This is because OEMs usually add their own customized skins on top of the stock Android OS. With these skins, almost every aspect of the OS is altered to fit the functionality wanted by the OEM. This would make it very hard to run beta versions of the OS on, for instance, Samsung Galaxy S7.
Given that Google hasn’t mentioned a thing about such as a possibility, it is recommended to take this with a grain of salt.