After introducing the first Developer Preview of Android P in March, Google has released the software in beta for anyone to try. You can download it on your Pixel device (or any of the devices listed below) right now.
The release of Android P will include a lot of exciting features, such as navigation gestures, App Actions, Adaptive Brightness, and a myriad of features designed to deter excessive smartphone use. Android P is one of the bigger and more exciting updates we’ve seen Google release in years.
We still don’t know the software’s official name, but we do know Google plans to release the software toward the end of summer. Hopefully, with the help of Google’s Project Treble, it won’t just be Pixel owners who get to enjoy Android P when it launches in a few months.
Note: Because this is beta software, proceed at your own risk before installing it on your device. It’s wise not to use beta software on your daily driver.
It’s super easy to install
To install Android P on your Pixel, head over to the Android Beta Program website. Sign in to your Google account, and then sign up to access pre-release versions of Android P. Click on your device to enroll. That’s step one.
Next, head to your device’s Settings > System > System Update. If the Android P update doesn’t pop up, hit refresh and you should see a prompt to initiate the update. Make sure your device is charged or is charging before you begin, otherwise Google won’t let you proceed.
The update should take about 20 minutes when all is said and done. (At least, that was our experience; the update is pretty hefty.) Once the update is finished, you’ll be ready to start exploring the new beta.
One thing we do want to note is that the navigation gestures aren’t turned on by default. You’ll still see the traditional three-icon layout of back, home, and multitasking buttons. You have to dig into your settings to turn navigation gestures on.
We already have the Android P beta running on a Pixel XL and Pixel 2, so if you follow the steps above, the installation process should go off without any problems.
If you decide to leave the beta program, know that your device will be wiped before returning to a stable version of Android. If you stick with the beta until Android P is officially released, Google says you’ll receive a stable version of the software without the need to wipe your device.
Installing Android P on other devices
Google’s Pixel devices aren’t the only phones that support the Android P beta. There are seven other phones, including the upcoming OnePlus 6, that can enroll in the beta program today. Unfortunately, installing the software is a little more involved.
On the Essential Phone, for example, you’ll need to enter your name, email, and serial number before gaining access to the beta. Even then, Essential warns against installing Android P on your device since the software is unfinished.
This is an unfinished product and is intended for developers to test their app running in Android P on Essential Phone. Some features may be missing or may not work. Keep this in mind before downloading it to your device.
Remember what we said about it being an unfinished product? Because of that, it means we can’t provide consumer support.
And uninstalling the Preview from your Essential Phone before the end of the program requires a full reset of your device (that means all your data gets wiped).
In other words, prepare for the worst when installing the Android P beta. If the software bricks your phone, the manufacturer is under no obligation to help out.
The full list of devices that can access Android P (and a list to instructions for how to install the software) is down below.