It was only the first week into June when Google officially launched the 3rd developer preview for Android O and now there’s a new update rolling out today. The previous update finalized the new APIs that were being added to the platform and this update focuses on making things stable by squashing some bugs.
As we can see from the projected timeline image above, many people have been expecting the 4th developer preview to be released sometime this month. The graph indicates that it should hit sometime around the middle of the month and now we’re seeing the new update live to those who are testing it out on supported devices. The big features in Android O are a lot of under the hood changes including Android Vitals as the company is trying to get quell the unoptimized and power hungry application issue that so many people face.
As always, Google is only making these available to the public for devices which are currently supported. This includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel and then the Pixel XL. the company has also made emulator images made available to developers for handsets, Android Wear and Android TV. As with all developer preview updates, we cannot recommend that you install the Android O Developer Preview 4 on your smartphone or tablet if you are unwilling to deal with bugs.
Assuming everything stays on course for Android O, we’ll likely see the final release pushed sometime before the end of Q3 this year. This quarter ends on September 30th and we saw Android 7.0 Nougat officially launched on August 22nd so we’re expecting it to land around the same time this year as well.
Google says Developer Preview 4 is a release candidate build of Android O and is still meant for developers who want to get their applications ready for the official release of the upcoming update. The new update is Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) approved on the supported devices we listed above, so if an application depends on a CTS approved build then it should work with this new update. Along with the new system images that Google has provided DP4 also comes with the stable version of the Android 26.0.0 Support Library.
Developers can look forward to incremental updates to the SDK, tools, and Android Emulator system images are said to be coming in the next few days. A new version of the Android Testing Support Library is also available today with included support for features like Android Test Orchestrator, Multiprocess Espresso, and more. Lastly, Google Play is now open for applications compiled against or targeting API 26.
Be sure to check the Android O Developer Preview 4 release notes page for the full list of changes.