It has been a long, four-month process that began when Google released the first developer preview in March — an earlier than usual move because the search giant wanted manufacturers and carriers to roll out the new version to devices quickly. Since then, we’ve gotten three more previews where Android Nougat has showcased features like Split Screen, Direct Reply, and Night Mode. We’ve also lost newly introduced features like Launcher Shortcuts, and quick access to Night Mode. You can learn about everything we’ve seen throughout the developer previews here.
The final Developer Preview 5 doesn’t add any new feature — rather, it brings the final few touches, bug fixes, and optimizations to the operating system and preinstalled apps. While Preview 4 added the final APIs developers could use to make sure their apps are compatible, Preview 5 offers the “near-final system updates” for the devices supported.
If you’re a developer, Google has also added an emulator you can use in the final preview so you can make sure your apps are ready during the final testing. Google says developers should “make sure your app handles all of the system behavior changes in Android N, like Doze on the Go, background optimizations, screen zoom, permissions changes, and more.” The company is encouraging developers to utilize new features such as multi-window support, Direct Reply, new emojis, and more.
You should be getting the update sometime Monday if you have enrolled in the Android Beta Program. If you haven’t yet done so but want to experience Android Nougat before the official release, head over to android.com/beta and opt-in with your device, if it’s eligible. We’ll update our hands-on once we have had some time to play around with Developer Preview 5.
Of course, it’s still a beta version of the final release, so you may still have some issues. If you do find any bugs, Google asks that you report them. Also, if you happen to have any questions for the Android engineering team, they will be hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything, or AMA, from 12 to 2 p.m. July 19 PT.
Google says we’ll see the official release of Android 7.0 Nougat later this summer, which means that’s likely when we’ll see the Nexus device launch as Google typically launches new Android versions with new hardware.