Yesterday, Google launched the first Developer Preview of Android O. The final version will not be with us until late summer. However, if you’re curious to try your hand at its new features, you can install Android O today on compatible devices.
This is the second year in a row Google has announced a Developer Preview of an upcoming Android version in March. The tech giant is expected to launch three additional Developer Previews prior to the final release. The next preview of Android O will be debuted in the middle of May, so we’ve two months to play around with this new flavor of Android. You can install Android O Developer Preview to check out its features such as background limits, notification channels, and more.
It’s very easy to download Android O Developer Preview for Pixel and Nexus devices. But, before you do, you should know some of the alarm bells associated with Developer Previews.
First of all, it is a very early build of the OS and is pierced with glitches, bugs, and overall performance jankiness. Moreover, it’s mainly for app developers to start testing and making apps for the upcoming Android version. This version is unstable and if you’re not careful, you can end up with a dead smartphone. If that doesn’t sway you, though, read on.
In this how-to article, we’ll tell you how to download and install Android O Developer Preview on your smartphone. Allow us to walk you through the simple steps:
Here’s the list of Nexus and Pixel devices that can be flashed with the first Developer Preview images of Android O:
- Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X
- Nexus Player
- Pixel and Pixel XL
- Pixel C
Install Android O Developer Preview
1. Download and Prepare the Factory Image
Begin by heading over to this link to download the system image for your device. The downloaded image includes a script that flashes your device, typically named flash-all.sh.
2. ADB and Fastboot
Next, you’ll need to have ADB and Fastboot tools on your Windows PC and Mac. If you need ADB, then download it from here.
3. Android Developer Options
Before you get started the installation process, make sure that OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging are enabled within the Settings > Developer Options section.
If you encounter any difficulty to find these settings on your Pixel smartphone, you can go through our guide on 7 Google Pixel settings you must change right now.
4. Unlock Bootloader
In order to flash the system image of Android O, you’ll need to first unlock your device’s bootloader. To do so, connect your Nexus or Pixel device to your PC and Mac.
Then, navigate to the path where ADB and Fastboot are installed on your system. Here, open Command Prompt or Terminal and enter the following commands:
In order to check if the device is connected or not:
A pop up will arise, asking you to ‘Allow USB Debugging’. Tap on the Ok button to continue.
Now, enter the following command to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
adb reboot bootloader
Once your device enters in bootloader load, type the command below to ensure fastboot recognizes your device:
adb fastboot devices
Finally, unlock the bootloader by typing the following command:
adb fastboot oem unlock
After this, you should accept some prompts on your smartphone to confirm that you want to unlock your bootloader. Once you confirm such prompts, your device is going to be completely wiped and you’ll ready to move on with our guide, namely how to install Android O for Google Pixel and Nexus.
Read more at List of 4 easy ways to run Android on PC
5. Flash the Android O Factory Image
Now, it’s time to flash Android O on your Pixel or Nexus device. Let’s do it:
Extract the downloaded Android O system image. Within the extracted folder, you’ll see another ZIP file. Extract it as well.
Make sure to move your extracted files to the ADB and Fastboot folder. Next, ensure that your device is running in the bootloader mode and open the ‘flash-all.bat’ file. It will open up Command Prompt, flash all the files, and install Android O on your Nexus or Pixel device.
However, some users may have encounter errors while executing the batch file. To get rid of this, there’s an alternative way. You can launch the Command Prompt and flash all images one by one via the commands below:
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot flash system system.img
After the scripts finish, your device will be rebooted and Android O should be installed on your device.
To verify this, you can navigate to Settings > System > About Phone and check the Android version on your phone.
So, that’s how you can install Android O Developer Preview on your Google Pixel or Nexus phone. Have you already installed Android O? If you’ve, let us know how you like it, in the comments below.
To find more such in-depth tutorials, visit our How To section.