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Google releases ‘near-final’ Android P beta

Google releases ‘near-final’ Android P beta

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Google has released the third beta of Android P, which is supposed to be a “near-final” look at the OS before it’s completed later this summer. Google engineering VP Dave Burke calls the latest beta an “early release candidate build” that “takes us very close to what you’ll see in the final version of Android P.”

It’s not clear that this beta includes any new features — Burke only lists bug fixes and optimizations. The bigger deal here is really for developers, since system behaviors and APIs are supposed to be in a close to final state, so they can start to test apps and rely on how they’ll work.

And while it’s generally not a great idea to test beta operating systems on your main device, if you’ve been thinking about it, this is when it should start to be a safer bet. While Google isn’t promising a complete absence of bugs in this build, the fact that we’re looking at an early release candidate suggests most of the major changes and optimizations should be in place. That said, Google still has a month or two to go before final release, so there’s likely still improvements to come.

One thing we’ll be looking for in the new beta: whether Android’s digital wellbeing features have arrived. They didn’t make an appearance in earlier betas, despite being one of P’s highest profile features. And they’re not mentioned in the blog post; so it’s possible this is something that’ll be pushed until an update later in the year, like alongside the next round of Pixel devices.

Burke also announced that the Android engineering team will host a Reddit AMA later this month, on July 19th, to answer “technical questions” about the new OS.

If you want to install Android P, you can follow our instructions from May, when the first beta came out.