Android “O” Beta “Coming Soon,” Google Says

Posted on May 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 25 Comments

Android "O" Beta "Coming Soon," Google Says

With Google I/O on the horizon, Google announced that it has ended the Android “Nougat” Beta and will soon launch the Android “O” Beta.

To date, Google had been providing Beta versions of Android Nougat (versions 7.x) alongside early, Developer Preview versions of Android O, the next major Android version. I assume this announcement means that Google will:

  • Provide no more Android 7.x product versions.
  • Provide no more Android “O” (8.x) Developer Preview releases.

With Google’s developer show, Google I/O, just ten days away, the timing makes sense: The search giant is expected to unveil its plans for Android O features and functionality at that event. And Beta versions of Android 0 should be far more accessible—and easier to install—than the Developer Preview releases.

But this also means that the Android Beta website is temporarily in a holding pattern.

“Thank you for your interest in the Android Beta Program,” the site notes. “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. This will not wipe your device. We’ll update this site when the Android O Beta Program begins.”

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Android “O” Beta “Coming Soon,” Google Says”

  1. Avatar

    skane2600

    Perhaps it's time for Google to let phone makers catch up rather than creating new versions almost nobody can use. Nougat has a smaller usage share than Jelly Bean.

    • Avatar

      rameshthanikodi

      In reply to skane2600:

      Agreed. It definitely feels like less people care about new Android releases because they aren't going to get it anyway. Year after year it becomes more apparent that the only people who get excited by new Android OS announcements are Nexus/Pixel users - people who are of the vocal minority sort (tech bloggers, assorted geeks, etc). It's almost like Google has forgotten about the spirit of Android, a major reason for Android's success is because of the swath OEM partners. Yet they continue to give OEMs the finger and upend the market with the Pixel, complete with a flavor of Android that feels increasingly disconnected from what most people have.

      ...I still remember the shitstrom Microsoft got from OEMs (ahem, Acer) when MS entered the market with their own devices.

    • Avatar

      Narg

      In reply to skane2600:

      Isn't the usage problem similar to what Microsoft is facing? Fragmentation due to lack of concern over updating? Why would any user really WANT to update to a new version of Android? I know, I know, there are plenty of good reasons any good tech would know. But the average user really doesn't give a rat. Apple sees good updates on it's device because it usually updates with big fanfare and usually a good thing to two about an update that draws people in. That and the phone doesn't stop bugging them about updating once a new update it available. I'm even seeing some forced updates on Apple products now, which I personally support else people would be open to any new malicious software attack and not even know it.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to Narg:

        Generally I agree with you. My criticism of Google doesn't mean I'm pro-Microsoft or pro-Apple. I pretty much focus on the problems of each of them. My biases (if that's what they are) is that I don't believe in the Post-PC era and in my experience all generic, one-size-fits-all, WORE efforts have fallen short or failed outright.

    • Avatar

      Jeff Jones

      In reply to skane2600:


      Phone makers could catch up if they wanted too. I mean, Tracfone and Straight Talk are still selling new phones with Andriod 4.4 on them. These aren't just over stock devices, these are recently manufactured.

      That's the biggest problem. Google doesn't have a way to convince/force manufacturers to switch to the newest version, even 5 years later.

      Not that Android 7 would run on a $20 phone anyway. Maybe what Google needs to do is create a alternate stripped down version of Android 8 that can run on older hardware while still providing most of the new security improvements. But that would probably mean drivers for old hardware, and as we've seen drivers are the first thing to be abandoned by the manufacturers.

    • Avatar

      obarthelemy

      In reply to skane2600:

      That'd mean stopping to move the platform forward. My guess: you're not an Android user. I am, and don't care I don't have the latest OS; I'm happy it's better, and I'll get it in 2 yrs.

      In Android, contrary to iOS, most stuff isn't dependent on the OS version anyway: apps (incl. main, dialer. calendar...), security, even OS features (Pay, Wear, Home....; and tools like notifications, Launcher, lockscreen...). So Lagging in OS version isn't nearly as important as in iOS, where for example the new iClip (a simple, non-system app) *requires* the latest OS.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to obarthelemy:

        I guess I'm old fashioned. An improvement that only a tiny percentage of your customers can take advantage of doesn't make a lot of business sense IMO. On the other hand Google is swimming in money and all those devs have to keep busy doing something.


        Your comparison with iOS doesn't mean much to me since I've never owned an iOS device or developed for one.

    • Avatar

      Nicholas Kathrein

      In reply to skane2600:

      Let phone makers catch up? Phone makers will never catch up. There isn't enough money in it for almost any of them to "catch up" Most will do 1 update and no waiting will get them to do 2 major OS updates. The 2nd update is you buying a new phone. If you want updates buy a Google phone. If you don't want to spend the money for that then pay 1/2 as much and get a new phone every year. This idea of waiting is rather naive and in what business has ever been a good idea to stand still while your competitors are moving?

      • Avatar

        obarthelemy

        In reply to Nicholas Kathrein:

        Or get a model that's well supported by the community. My 2011 Galaxy Note was running 2.3 when I bought it, now it's on 6.0. And 7.1 is available, but I can't be bothered, 6.0 is fyne.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to Nicholas Kathrein:

        Well, it increases fragmentation without much gain IMO. Yes, competitors continue to release new features that are just as insignificant. What groundbreaking new feature has appeared on smartphones in the last 5 years? Competing isn't just about how often you release a new version, it's about releasing compelling features when they are production ready.

        • Avatar

          PeteB

          In reply to skane2600:

          Except Android "fragmentation" is a myth since the apps everyone uses tend to work the same across Android versions. Non issue.

          • Avatar

            Jorge Garcia

            In reply to PeteB:

            I never hear anybody outside of tech blogs upset that they're using an older version of Android. Now that doesn't mean it's not still a MAJOR Achilles's heel that MUST be fixed, but the clamor is overstated.

          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to PeteB:

            I suspect that there's no set of apps that "everyone uses" although it's not uncommon for people to project their own computing behavior on to other people. The irony of your statement is that, if true, there would be no reason to ever add features to Android since developers would fear that their app would no longer "work the same across Android versions".

  2. Avatar

    Nicholas Kathrein

    Paul, if you want to write about the beta where you going to do the beta on your current phone you really should get a 2nd pixel or something because I really feel the reason for your bad experience on the Pixel is your more often then not on the beta which is almost always a poor experience and have 2 separate phones really shows the difference of staying on the normal releases and the new features in the betas. I've been on the betas like you on my 6P and it's not great. This is why I downloaded a tool to undo it all and revert back to that standard builds. It does it in about 15 minutes.


    App is called "The Android Toolkit"

    https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-6p/orig-development/tool-skipsoft-android-toolkit-nexus-6p-t3234159


    This makes flashing back to stock super easy and if you want to unlock it and use ROM very easy.

  3. Avatar

    Bats

    My (just turned) 10 year old niece is blogging for her school using a Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Wordpress App, and the graphics app called Pixlr. I look at this entire website and I still can't figure out how a middle-aged tech blogger who is 40 years older then my niece can't figure out how to create content using the official Wordpress App on a non-Wndows device. That's what Paul said on both What the Tech and Windows Weekly.

    I know he look at tech from Rose-colored glasses from Redmond, but statements like this serious questions his credibility and most of trust-ability.


    Also....

  4. Avatar

    Jorge Garcia

    Android "O" should have a desktop interface "mode", period. I'm a Windows junkie, general nerd, and involuntary default IT guy of home/work :), but when somebody asks me which "laptop" to buy TODAY, I am totally stumped. To me, it is so troubling that it is 2017 and no "just right" answer yet exists. Windows is far too complex for most people, and when they inevitably get a virus, or screw something up on day 3, I'll be the one to blame, and the one called upon to fix it and recover as much as possible from the burning carcass of their user profile. Windows 10 S is a non-starter. I certainly can't recommend Apple in good conscience....far overpriced for what it is, and further I am opposed to closed computing in principle. Perhaps once iOS matures into a true laptop competitor, I could recommend an iPad Pro to SOME people, but not yet, no way. Chromebooks are nice, but are gimped in that they can't run Android Apps, and I feel that even when they can, it will feel incomplete in some way. Chromebooks also feel very childish, and some people are put off by that. Lastly, I can't recommend Android either, because its interface is not acceptable for a laptop form-factor. So hopefully Android "O" finally comes with some semblance of a desktop interface mode. If it finally does, then I will gladly recommend Android laptops to friends and family. If Samsung were to make a basic laptop running its DeX skin of Android, I don't think I'd personally buy one, but that would certainly become my de facto recommendation to family and co-workers.

    • Avatar

      red.radar

      In reply to Jorge Garcia:

      Do what I do. Tell them "I don't know". Make them responsible for their own tech choices. I got out if the family IT game. I got better things to do than explain the same things over and over.


      I realized your not helping them if you hold there hands. Make them learn it or deal with their own consequences of ignorance.

      • Avatar

        Jorge Garcia

        In reply to red.radar:
        Agreed, but it's 2017...if "normies" can't adequately handle the tech that's available and the tech they can handle doesn't do what they want, then that's the industry's fault now. All the parts have been there since 2012...but no one has put them together the right way yet, and its a shame. If Google hadn't botched things so badly, Phoenix OS wouldn't need to exist.


        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to Jorge Garcia:

          How deep "normies" get into tech is mostly dependent on their motivation, just like any other activity. Their lack of interest is usually what holds them back.

          • Avatar

            Jorge Garcia

            In reply to skane2600: Ever since mobile showed normies "what's possible", the expectation has (rightly) become that by now they should be able to accomplish ALL their basic computing goals with minimal effort and little to no obstacles, surprises, drama and let-downs. Your statement is true, when applied to Windows, but it shouldn't still be that way in 2017.


    • Avatar

      obarthelemy

      In reply to Jorge Garcia:

      Indeed. My elderly, declining parents can't handle Windows anymore. They'd love a PC that works like their tablets. Maybe I've found it, I'm waiting for reviews: http://www.geekbuying.com/item/VORKE-Z3-4K-KODI-TV-Box-378585.html

      • Avatar

        Narg

        In reply to obarthelemy:

        My elderly parents are the same way, new tech is really befuddling them. You know, they are my parents, and I'm sure all of us present various issue to them in our youth... So, I have no issues in supporting them and new tech. I do my best to "elder proof" it for them (ibid "baby proof"..) And doing this to Windows really is not that hard. Set them up with a highly limited account so they can't mess things up as much. And simplify the Start Menu and other things. Works extremely well. I have to reset their web browser back to fresh every now and then, but that's the worst.

      • Avatar

        Jorge Garcia

        In reply to obarthelemy: Those TV boxes are nice, but require a very good air mouse...I've tried a lot of them but I'd only recommend those made by MEASY. If they want a decent android laptop the only choice IMO is the Digital2 D2-1161G OctaCore 11.6" 1.8GHz 16GB Android 5.1 Tablet w/ Keyboard. It runs Phoenix OS Android Skin, and it looks interesting. Also, one of the "higher end" Chinese companies, ONDA makes a laptop that runs desktop Android as well, search for ONDA oBook...Whenever the Americans drop the ball, the Chinese do their best to fill in the gap.


  5. Avatar

    Bradpitt

    Yesterday, Google officially released developers’ version of Android O Beta 4. I installed it on my Google Pixel with the help of this Guide. https://www.megebyte.com/how-to-install-android-o-on-nexus-pixel-devices/

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