Google: Android O beta will hit devices 'soon'. Nougat beta is now closed

Nexus and Pixel owners should be able to install the Android O beta later this month.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google has wrapped up the Android Nougat beta program and says it will launch the Android O beta 'soon'.

Google's heads-up about the next Android beta comes just 10 days ahead of its I/O developer conference, where it will be showing off new Android features for payments and vehicles, as well as its recently announced Android Things for Raspberry Pi.

"The beta for Android Nougat has concluded, and all devices that were opted in have been updated to the current public version. If you are still running a beta version of Nougat you may download the latest full OTA image for your device and sideload it," Google notes on its Android Beta Program page.

Google released the alpha version of the Android O Developer Preview in mid-March and intends to release the second preview, an "incremental update" and beta, in mid-May. It will release four previews in total, followed by the final release at some point in the third quarter.

So far, Android O has been available as a manual download. When the beta program launches, it will be available as an over-the-air update. As with the Nougat preview, the previews are only available for Google devices. The Android O preview supports the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus player, Pixel, and pixel XL.

Android O promises to address apps that pester users with too many notifications by offering finer-grained controls through a feature called Notification Channels. Users can set each app to a specific category and choose to block them, alter their importance, add vibration and lights, or change lockscreen privacy.

It should also bring improvements to device battery life via new limits on app background activity, including implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. This should also prevent apps consuming memory through background activities.

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