How to download and install Android N Developer Preview 4

Here's how you can get the Android 7.0 "N" Developer Preview 4 up and running on selected Android devices right now.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Like to live dangerously? Want to get the Android 7.0 "N" Developer Preview 4 up and running ahead of the full release? Here's how to do that.

See also: iOS 10 and Android N: Piling more frosting on a stale cake

First, you'll need to one of the following devices:

  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus Player
  • Pixel C
  • General Mobile 4G (Android One)
  • Sony Xperia Z3

If you own one of the above, then you're ready to rock with Android N.

Because this is a developer preview, you need to have a plan in case something goes wrong. Your first line of defense is having a backup. To do this tap on Settings > Backup and reset and make sure both Back up my data and Automatic restore are enabled.

Also, if you have photos to back up, either connect your device to a PC to do this, or set up some cloud backup service (remember that every Google account comes with 15GB of Google Drive storage).

With your data safe, you're now ready to proceed.

For every device except the Sony Xperia Z3 (we'll get to that in a moment) you need to head over to Google's Android Beta portal to enroll your device. You will require a Google account - since you own an Android device, your probably have this already - and then you need to wait until you receive an update notification on your device (which could take up to 24 hours, but usually happens almost instantly).

Once you get the update notification, pull down the notification bar and choose Download to begin the upgrade.

Your device will be sent new updates OTA - Over The Air - every few weeks until the Android N is released. The next major milestone will be Developer Preview 5, which should be the final one before Android N is released.

If you stay in the preview program, your device will also get previews maintenance releases after the final release.

If you decide that running a beta isn't for you then you can roll back to the latest public release by unenrolling your device, again using Google's Android Beta portal. Note that this does wipe your data, so make sure you back up anything important in advance of downgrading.

For all you Sony Xperia Z3 owners who want to take Android N for a spin, you need to sign up to Sony's N Developer Preview program.

Essential Android and iPhone accessories

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