Welcome to the Android N Developer Preview, a program that gives you everything you need to test and optimize your apps for the next version of Android. It's free, and you can get started right away just by downloading the N Developer Preview tools.
Hardware and emulator images
Run and test your apps on a range of devices or on an emulator.
Latest platform code
We’ll provide monthly updates during the Preview, so you’ll be testing against the latest platform changes.
Priority for developer issues
During the first several weeks we’ll give priority to developer-reported issues, so test and give feedback as soon as possible.
New behaviors and capabilities
Start work early to support new platform behaviors and develop with new features.
Updates delivered by OTA
Seamless over-the-air updates for any supported device through the Android Beta Program. No flashing is needed.
Timeline and updates
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.
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
These documentation resources are available on the Developer Preview site to help you learn about the Android N:
- Set Up to Develop for Android N has step-by-step instructions for getting started.
- Behavior Changes points you to key areas to test.
- Documentation of new APIs, including an API Overview, downloadable API Reference, and detailed developer guides on key features such as multi-window support, bundled notifications, multi-locale support, and others.
- Sample code that demonstrates how to support permissions and other new features.
- Release notes for the current version of the N Developer Preview, including change notes and diff reports.
Downloadable API Reference
During the early preview updates, you can download the latest API Reference for the Android N platform as a separate zip archive. The reference download also includes a diff report that helps you identify API changes from API 23 and the previous update.
When the Android N APIs are final and an official API level is assigned, we’ll provide the API reference to you online at https://developer.android.com.
As you test and develop on the N Developer Preview, please use these channels to report issues and give feedback.
- N Developer Preview Issue Tracker is your primary feedback channel. You can report bugs, performance issues, and general feedback through the issue tracker. You can also check for known issues and find workaround steps. We’ll keep you updated on your issue as it’s triaged and sent to the Android engineering team for review.
- The Android N Developer Community is a Google+ community where you can connect with other developersworking with Android N. You can share observations or ideas or find answers to questions about Android N. We’ll moderate the community and provide answers and guidance as needed.
Targeting, preview APIs, and publishing
The N Developer Preview provides a development-only system and Android
library that does not have a standard API level. If you want
to opt out of compatibility behaviors to test your app (which is strongly
recommended), you can target the preview version of Android N by setting your
The Android N Developer Preview delivers preview APIs — the APIs will not be official until the final SDK is released, currently planned for the third quarter of 2016. This means that you can expect minor API changes over time, especially during initial weeks of the program. We’ll provide a summary of changes to you with each update of the Android N Developer Preview.
Note: Although preview APIs may change, underlying system behaviors are stable and ready for testing against right away.
Google Play prevents publishing of apps targeting the N Developer Preview. When the Android N final SDK is available, you’ll be able to target the official Android N API level and publish your app to Google Play via the alpha and beta release channels. Meanwhile, if you want to distribute an app targeting Android N to testers, you can do so via email or by direct download from your site.
At the full release of Android N to AOSP and OEMs, planned for Q3 2016, you’ll be able to publish your apps targeting Android N to the public release channel in Google Play.
How to get started
To get started testing your app with Android N:
- Review the API Overview and Behavior Changes to get an idea of what's new and how it affects your apps. In particular, learn about the new notifications features and multi-window support.
- Set up your environment by following the instructions for Setting up the Preview SDK and configuring test devices.
- Follow the instructions to update your device to the latest build of the N Developer Preview. The easiest way is to enroll your device in Android Beta program.
- Review the API Reference and Android N samples to gain more insight into new API features and how to use them in your app.
- Join the Android N Developer Community to get the latest news and connect with other developers working with the new platform.
Thank you for your participation in the Android N Developer Preview program!