Android Q beta will roll out to more smartphones than Android Pie beta

The Android Q beta will be rolled out to even more smartphones compared to the Android Pie beta, thanks to Google’s Project Treble.

At the I/O developer conference last year, Google made the surprising announcement that the beta for Android Pie, known only as Android P at the time, would be made available on several devices from other manufacturers. Previously, Android beta versions were only available on Google’s own Nexus and Pixel devices. However, Project Treble allowed owners of the Essential Phone, Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S to try out the Android Pie beta.

Project Treble is a new update framework that makes it easier, faster, and less costly for smartphone manufacturers to update devices to the latest Android version. It was introduced in 2017 through Android Oreo, but its development has continued through Android Pie and into Android Q.

Iliyan Malchev, the head of Project Treble, revealed in episode 110 of the Android Developers Backstage podcast that the Android Q beta will involve more smartphones compared to the Android Pie beta.

“The number is bigger for the upcoming Android release, which I am very happy about. I cannot share the exact numbers yet. But the trend is positive and strong, and I am very happy about this,” Malchev said in the podcast. While Malchev did not reveal how many manufacturers and devices will be part of the upcoming beta beyond Google’s pixel smartphones, but that number will apparently be higher than the seven from the Android Pie beta.

Google is still expected to keep the Android Q developer preview as a Pixel exclusive, for a period that will likely last for up to two months. The operating system’s beta program will then start, most likely at this year’s I/O which is scheduled for May 7.

It may take a couple of months before Google reveals the smartphone manufacturers that will be part of the Android Q beta, but it appears that Android fans will  be less likely to need to purchase a Pixel to participate in upcoming beta programs for the mobile operating system. Meanwhile, speculation is still running rampant on the official Android Q name.

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