Google just wrapped up a huge preview of the new features coming to Android P. It’s an ambitious update that includes significant changes to the operating system almost everywhere you look. The official release of Android P won’t happen until late summer, but you don’t have to wait that long to try out P’s new gestures, see the new look, and go over the depressing data showing how much time you’re spending on your phone. Beginning today, you can install the first public beta on a few supported smartphones.
Typically, these betas have been limited to Google’s own smartphones, but with Android P, you can load the update onto a few devices from other companies as well. This is the widest mix of products that have had day-one access to a beta of a new version of Android, and we’ve got Project Treble to thank for that. Here’s the list of what’s supported:
- Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel / Pixel XL
- Essential Phone
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- OnePlus 6 (coming soon)
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Oppo R15 Pro
- Vivo X21
If you have a Pixel phone, the process is as easy as heading over to the Android Beta Program website and signing up for access to pre-release versions of Android P that will be updated over the next few months. Make sure you’re signed into Google with the account tied to the phone you’ll be using.
After you register, you’ll get a notification on your device about a system update being available. That’s Android P! Usually, it doesn’t take long to get that prompt, but since a ton of people will be rushing to install the new update today, you might have to wait a bit.
What about the other phones?
If you want to install Android P on the non-Google devices, it’ll take a bit of extra work. There’s no over-the-air installation method; you’ll have to flash your smartphone with the beta build of the operating system. That’s not terribly daunting if you’re good at following directions, but there’s always the risk of messing something up. It’s also worth noting that most of these companies aren’t offering customer support if you’re on the beta. Installing it isn’t going to void your warranty or some nonsense, but if you run into a bad bug or glitch, it’s up to you to solve it — or flash back to Oreo.
Essential Phone: Details and instructions here.
(Side note: I like how Essential phrases their warning against installing the Android P beta on your everyday phone: “Do you love using your Essential Phone every day for things like phone calls, text messages, playing games, browsing social media, and more? If so, then you may not want to install this on your device.”)
OnePlus 6 (coming soon): Details and instructions here.
OnePlus 5 and 5T will get Android P “later this year.”
Sony XZ2: Details and instructions here
Nokia 7: Details and instructions here
Oppo R15 Pro: Details and instructions here
Vivo X21UD: Details and instructions here
Vivo X21: Details and instructions here
Xaiomi Mi Mix 2S: Details and instructions here