Android 7 Nougat release date, name and features: Google’s next OS is out now

Curtis Moldrich
23 Aug 2016

Android Nougat is out now

How to get Android 7.0 Nougat now

Bucking its usual trend, Google has been treating us to Developer Preview versions of its next mobile operating system and following Google I/O you're now able to try out Developer Preview 3, which Google is describing as the first beta-quality candidate.

As such, if you were sat on the fence as to whether or not to try it out on your main phone or tablet, now might be the time to jump in and get among the Beta fun. If you're already on the Beta, an OTA update should be rolling out to get you to the latest version. If you're looking to do a fresh install, instructions are below.

Anyone with a newer pure Google device can start beta testing the Developer Preview version right this moment as part of the Android Beta Program, as well as specific Sony Xperia models. This opens up testing new versions of Android Nougat, and future versions of Android, to everyone and makes installing early versions far simpler than in the past. Before, you had to manually flash Android yourself, which required comparatively more complicated steps.

Now, with the Android Beta Program, upgrading to an early version is no different than upgrading your device to a full release version of Android.

Which devices are eligible?

Currently, the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Google Pixel C and Nexus Player are all eligible to enrol in the Android Beta Program. There’s also the General Mobile 4G (Android One), too, although this device isn’t widely available and is geared towards developing nations. Support for the Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models) has also been added, so it's not just Nexus devices anymore.

How do I join the Android Beta Program?

All you need to do, aside from having one of the above devices, is head over to the Android Beta Program website. You’ll need to sign into your Google account and you’ll see any eligible devices you have associated with your account listed. Simply choose to enrol your device and you’ll soon be offered an Over-the-Air (OTA) Android update. This happened within minutes for me.

Note: Before opting in, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. As this is a Beta release, expect plenty of bugs and problems, so you might not want to run this on your main day-to-day device. Going back to a stable release is possible but is not without its consequences, as outlined below. Also, if you rely on apps such as banking apps, upgrading to a Developer Preview is probably not for you as they'll likely stop working.

How do I leave the Android Beta Program?

Android N Beta

From the same page, you can choose to unenroll your device. After this, you’ll be offered a stable version of Android relevant for your device as an OTA update. Note, this will wipe all user data, leaving you with a fresh install of Android. Make sure you backup all of your data before doing so.