Google has officially launched the fourth developer preview of Android N for installation and testing on the Nexus 5X/6/6P/9/Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One device). This is the second to last build of the upcoming update to the mobile OS before it goes mainstream in Q3 of this year. Google has promised us that within the coming weeks, we’ll learn the name of the next verion of Android so we can stop calling it “N”.
The official blog post for Android N DP4 indicating everything new (including the finalized APIs for Android N) can be seen below alongside the appropriate download links for factory images corresponding to your device.
Android N APIs are now final, get your apps ready for Android N!
As we put the finishing touches on the next release of Android, which will begin to roll out to consumers later this summer, we’re releasing the 4th Developer Preview of Android N, including the Android N final SDK. And thanks to your continued feedback over the last three releases, all of the APIs are now final as well. If you’ve already enrolled your device in the Android Beta Program, (available at android.com/beta) you will receive an update to this Developer Preview shortly.
Get your apps ready for Android N
The final SDK for Android N is now available for download through the SDK Manager in Android Studio. It gives you everything you need to develop and test against the official APIs in the Android N platform. Once you’ve installed the final SDK, you can update your project’s
compileSdkVersionto API 24 to develop with the Android N APIs and build and test on the new platform, for new features such as Multi-window support, direct-reply notifications, and others. We also recommend updating your app’s
targetSdkVersionto API 24 to opt-in and test your app with Android N specific behavior changes. For details on how to setup your app with the final SDK, see Set up the Preview. For details on API level 24 check out the API diffs and the updated API reference, now hosted online.
Along with the Android N final SDK, we’ve also updated the Android Support Library to 24.0.0. This allows you to use multi-window and picture-in-picture callbacks, new notification features, methods for supporting Direct Boot, and new MediaBrowser APIs in a backward compatible manner.
Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play
Now that you have a final set of APIs, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 24 to Google Play. You can now publish app updates that use API 24 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in the Google Play Developer Console. In this way, you can test your app’s backward-compatibility and push updates to users whose devices are running Developer Preview 4.
To make sure that your updated app runs well on Android N, as well as older versions, a common strategy is to use Google Play’s beta testing feature to get early feedback from a small group of users — including developer preview users — and then do a staged rollout as you release the updated app to all users.
How to Get Developer Preview 4
Developer Preview 4 includes updated system images for all supported Preview devices as well as for the Android emulator. If you are already enrolled in the Android Beta program, your devices will get the Developer Preview 4 update right away, no action is needed on your part. If you aren’t yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is by visiting android.com/betaand opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet — you’ll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. As always, you can also download and flash this update manually. The N Developer Preview is available for Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices, as well as General Mobile 4G [Android One] devices and the Sony Xperia Z3.
Thanks so much for all of your feedback so far. Please continue to share feedback or requests either in the N Developer Preview issue tracker, N Preview Developer community, or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release later this summer. We’re looking forward to seeing your apps on Android N!
- Nexus 5X | Nexus 5X OTA
- Nexus 6 | Nexus 6 OTA
- Nexus 6P | Nexus 6P OTA
- Nexus 9 | Nexus 9 OTA
- Nexus 9 LTE | Nexus 9 LTE OTA
- General Mobile 4G (Android One) | General Mobile 4G OTA
- Pixel C | Pixel C OTA
- Nexus Player | Nexus Player OTA
Google has provided users with a guide on how to flash the image to your device. As we don’t currently have one, I thought I’d add Google’s to this report for reference.
To flash a device using one of the system images below (or one of your own), you need the latest fastboot tool. You can get it from one of the sources below.
- From a compiled version of the Android Open Source Project.
- From the platform-tools/ directory in the Android SDK. Be sure that you have the latest version of the Android SDK Platform-tools from the SDK Manager.
Once you have the fastboot tool, add it to your PATH environment variable (the flash-all script below must be able to find it). Also be certain that you’ve set up USB access for your device, as described in the Using Hardware Devicesguide.
Caution: Flashing a new system image deletes all user data. Be certain to first backup any personal data such as photos.
To flash a system image:
- Download the appropriate system image for your device below, then unzip it to a safe directory.
- Connect your device to your computer over USB.
- Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:
- Using the adb tool: With the device powered on, execute: adb reboot bootloader
- Using a key combo: Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device. For example, to put a Nexus 5 (“hammerhead”) into fastboot mode, press and hold Volume Up + Volume Down + Power as the device begins booting up.
- If necessary, unlock the device’s bootloader by running: fastboot flashing unlock
or, for older devices, running:
fastboot oem unlock
The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)
- Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.
- Execute the flash-all script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.
Once the script finishes, your device reboots. You should now lock the bootloader for security:
- Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above.
- Execute: fastboot flashing lock
or, for older devices, running:
fastboot oem lock
Locking bootloader will wipe the data on some devices. After locking the bootloader, if you want to flash the device again, you must run fastboot oem unlock again, which will wipe the data.
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