Features

Android N update schedule: what it tells us about the Android 7.0 update

by: Kris CarlonJune 15, 2016
1.6K

Android N logo AA

Update, June 15: The fourth Android N developer preview is out with the final APIs and SDK. Some minor changes to Quick Settings toggle actions and a new Easter Egg troll are about the only noteworthy new features.

Original post, March 11: When Google dropped the Android N developer preview on March 9 it was also pretty open about its update timeline. Google clearly identified five monthly developer previews in advance of the final release of Android 7.0 by the end of September 2016. So what does this public timeline mean for Android N updates and when you can expect to see Android 7.0 on your device?

android n preview logoSee also: All the latest Android N features you need to know274

Don’t get too excited about seeing a monthly Android N preview update on the ninth of every month between now and July. Despite Google’s nice update timeline, things didn’t exactly go to plan last year, with several M preview updates missing the mark. Having said that, the second Developer Preview arrived only a few days late and the Developer Preview 3 arrived about a week behind schedule.
n-preview-updates_2x

What all this tells us is that Google is still quite committed to the idea of putting out monthly sprint updates until the final wrapping comes off Android 7.0 in Q3. By getting the first developer preview out earlier this year, Google is also giving itself a couple of months head start on getting all of the necessary fine-tuning and bug squashing done with plenty of time to spare. The relatively minor changes in Dev Preview 3 show that things are already starting to get polished.

Latest Android 7.0 news

During Google I/O several tidbits of information emerged about the Android 7.0 update. For starters, Android 7.0 will introduce seamless updates so future Android updates will happen silently in the background via A/B partition switching. We’ll likely find Google’s new messaging apps, Allo and Duo, bundled with Android 7.0 and we now know Android 7.0 will feature Sustained Performance Mode for demanding VR and gaming apps as well as support for Project Tango and Daydream VR devices.

Daydream_VR_Android_app_converted

Android N update: when will I get it?

Google Nexus Android N update schedule

March 9: Android N developer preview 1 (alpha)

April 13: Android N developer preview 2 (alpha)

May 18: Android N developer preview 3 (beta)

June 15: Android N developer preview 4 (with final APIs and SDK)

July: Android N developer preview 5 (near-final build)

August/September: Final Android 7.0 AOSP build

nexus 6p vs nexus 5x 2 aa (3 of 3)

Android N developer preview OTA updates

The Android N developer preview 3 is available for Nexus devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program. If you haven’t yet received the update, just head to Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check for Updates to force the OTA. The factory images are also up on the Android Developers site if you prefer to do it that way (or if you flashed the first preview before realizing how easy the Beta Program is).

While the monthly Android N updates will only be available for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, General Mobile 4G (Android One) and Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603 and D6653), there is also evidence that Google is internally testing the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). We’ve added information below for other manufacturers based on how long it took OEMs to get Marshmallow out following the release of Android 6.0 in September last year.

Android N OTA update

Android 7.0 update: when will I get it?

Samsung Android 7.0 update

Samsung isn’t exactly speedy when it comes to rolling out Android updates, and we sadly don’t expect that to change significantly with the Samsung Android 7.0 update.

There was a five-month timeframe between the Android 6.0 launch on September 29, 2015 and the first U.S. update to Marshmallow with the Verizon Galaxy Note 5 on March 3, 2016. Galaxy owners could easily be waiting until late February or early March 2017 for the first Samsung Android 7.0 update.

Even then, it will likely only be the Galaxy Note 6 to get it first, with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge following a little later and the Note 5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ after them. With any luck, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Edge will both arrive in early 2017 running Android 7.0 out of the box.

Best case scenario: Five months after Android 7.0 launch (February/March 2017)

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge photos-26

LG Android 7.0 update

LG has been pretty good with its update speed for Marshmallow, with less than two months separating the release of Android 6.0 and the first LG handset to receive it (the Sprint LG G4 on December 21, 2015). In fact, LG was the first OEM to get a carrier-based Marshmallow update out after Google. The LG V10 eventually got the update internationally in early March 2016, after the LG G3 and LG G Stylo already had Marshmallow in the U.S..

If this is anything to go by, the first LG Android 7.0 update could well be to the LG G5 in December 2016 with the successor to the LG V10 and the V10 itself likely being next on the list, alongside the LG G4.

Best case scenario: Less than two months after Android 7.0 release (mid-December 2016)

LG G5 vs LG V10 quick look-10

Sony Android 7.0 update

As mentioned above, some Sony Xperia owners are already being treated to an Android N preview build just as they were last year with Android M. However, for those of you not interested in installing a non-final developer version, the Sony Android 7.0 update could arrive as early as the start of March 2017, around the same time as the first Galaxy devices.

This prediction is based on the Xperia Z5 series, Z4 Tablet and Xperia Z3+ all got the Marshmallow update five months after Google first pushed it out. Of course, it will most likely arrive first on the new Xperia X series rather than the Z5 series.

Best case scenario: Five months after Android 7.0 (March 2017), plus Android N developer previews

sony xperia X aa 3

Motorola Android 7.0 update

Moto owners will likely still get the Motorola Android 7.0 update a lot earlier than most, despite now being owned by Lenovo rather than Google. The Moto X Pure Edition got its first U.S. update to Marshmallow on December 7, 2015, but that was the unlocked version not slowed down by the addition of carrier bloatware and “optimization”.

With this in mind, Moto owners could be the first non-Nexus owners to see Android 7.0 in 2016, even beating out the LG G5. However, we’re yet to see how a Lenovo-owned Motorola handles software updates. At the very least we know the new near-stock Moto devices will run both Android N and Android O.

Best case scenario: A little over a month after Android 7.0 arrives (early December 2016)

Moto X Pure Edition-15

HTC Android 7.0 update

HTC also did pretty well with its first update to Marshmallow. The unlocked Developer Edition HTC One M9 and all variants of the HTC One A9 got the Marshmallow update in December 2015. The HTC 10 arrived in April running Android Marshmallow out of the box.

If HTC follows the same path this year, the first HTC Android 7.0 update should roll out to existing devices less than two months after Android 7.0 is made official. HTC’s next flagship, presumably the HTC 11, should arrive with Android 7.0 at launch.

Best case scenario: Two months after Android 7.0 unveiling (December 2016)

htc one a9 review aa (28 of 29)

Huawei Android 7.0 update

Not including the Nexus 6P, the first Huawei device to get Android Marshmallow was not even an update, but straight out of the box. The Huawei Mate 8 arrived with Marshmallow on board in November, just weeks after Google had made the update available for Nexus devices.

Then the honor 7 Enhanced Edition arrived on December 14, 2015 with Android Marshmallow on board and the honor 5X and honor 7 followed with the Marshmallow update at the end of February.

Best case scenario: Mate 9 running Android 7.0 at launch (November 2016), updates in February 2017

Honor-7-vs-Huawei-Ascend-Mate-7-AA-(8-of-17)

Xiaomi Android 7.0 update

Xiaomi had a pretty bad case of the hiccups when it came to the Marshmallow update, so it may not be entirely representative to base assumptions about the Xiaomi Android 7.0 update based on its most recent update performance. Despite announcing Marshmallow was in the final stages of testing back in December 2015, it wasn’t until early April that the Mi 4, Mi 3 and Mi Note finally got Android 6.0.

In the worst case scenario, Xiaomi suffers similar problems with Android 7.0 and users won’t see it until six months after Google releases it. In the best case scenario, Xiaomi meets its timeline and has the update out in late December 2016 or early January 2017.

Best case scenario: Two or three months after Google (December 2016 – January 2017)

Xiaomi Mi 4S Nirave-1

Android One Android 7.0 update

Android One devices occupy a particular sweet spot when it comes to Android updates. Because they run stock Android, Google handles firmware updates, meaning the Android One Android 7.0 update should arrive at the same time as it does for Nexus devices with both OTA and flashable factory image options.

Best case scenario: Within days of Android 7.0 being released

When do you expect your manufacturer and carrier to get Android 7.0 into your hands?

Read next: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup

  • What ab’t Android 6.1 update?

    • Iwanova

      “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

  • Ádám Blazevic

    Are you convinced that it will be 7.0? I’m pretty excited because in this first preview we got many new features and it’s a pretty solid update for an alpha release. My main question is the app drawer, will it stay or won’t? Either way I’m excited.

  • D13H4RD2L1V3

    There’s a typo on the LG section.

    At the end, it should say “LG G4”, not “LG G3”, unless LG has abandoned the G4, which is actually impossible unless they want to watch the world burn.

  • Roberto

    If last year is any indication, then Motorola will promise a “quick update timeline”, while you painfully wait more than Samsung users to get yours.
    Switched to Nexus. Never looked back.

    • Vinicius Lima Silva

      well, this depends on the device. My moto X 2014 didn’t have to wait too much

      • Roberto

        You are right, but my so called flagship phone (I had the Droid Turbo) did not get it until waaaaay after others.

        • Vinicius Lima Silva

          I know :(
          I had a friend that had to wait too. If it hasn’t Moto in its name, they don’t show any passion for the device :(

    • Hunter Miller

      Motorola was quicker then Samsung when it came to updating to 6.0.

      • Roberto

        As Vinicius rightly states: It depends on the device. My Droid Turbo had to wait its fair share of time, while the Moto X updated before the Samsung phones.

      • M42

        Anybody’s faster than Samscum.

      • graham wells

        I had the motor x play and I thought it was a really good bit of kit to

    • graham wells

      I find the quality of build of the nexus just isn’t anything like my galaxy s7edge what nexus would you recommend as a good back up phone would really like to try one

      • Eric Dodson

        I went from a Galaxy Note II, to a Nexus 6, and I love it. I’m not a huge fan of the over saturated samsung look after Android 5.0 releases. I love the minimalistic look and feel of stock Android. It’s worth trying at least the Nexus 6, it’s the best phone I’ve ever used.

        • Ethan

          You moved from an old plastic covered samsung phone! Of corse you will love the 6p after that. You should try the s7/s7 edge and you might change your mind.

      • Ethan

        I’ve noticed that with my s7 as well. I would get the nexus 6p, I have never had one but I have heard great things about it. If I were going to get a Google phone I would go with the 6p.

      • LiquidAlloy

        I came from Samsung devices to the Nexus 6P and I will never use another device other than the Nexus phones. There is many reasons why it is better.
        No carrier and manufacturer bloatware for one reason is tremendous.
        The OS updates are first before anyone else.
        Cheaper in price (hundreds)
        The quality of the Nexus 6P is great.
        Camera is incredible and opens very fast.
        I know the S7 is a great device but is it truly worth over $200 more? my opinion is no. If you’re a geek like me, The Nexus Root Toolkit is so easy to use for unlocking the bootloader, rooting, flashing ROMS, updating the OS with or WITHOUT wipe options AND the phone is completely unlocked for use in any country.

    • Ethan

      Samsung phones are better than most android phones, but they take way to long to get updates. There is a roomer that the Galaxy s7 might get the update not far after android N is released, fingers crossed!

  • viktor

    Idon’t even now for sure if Nexus 5 2013 will have update on Android N; I gope so, because it is so lovely phone…

    • Android Developer

      they said they test it.

    • Manu Anand S

      I’m still hoping for Android N update for my beautiful Nexus 5.

      • viktor

        You are not alone with this wish; I also hope that lovely Nexus 5 will get upgrade on “N”.

  • Noah Jones

    Wow, my LG G3 is still on Lollipop. Screw you AT&T

  • Andrew

    Did they mean the LG g4? Not the g3?

  • Renascienza

    Some people are supposing that, after N, users maybe can just download and install next versions and security updates themselves from Google (because the separation of low level kernel/services and Android system itself is better)… Would be a nice ideia.

  • Jeremiah Sariban

    what about Android Ones?

  • john smith

    What if it isn’t 7.0?

    • Matthew Merrick

      Yeah I don’t remember version number being mentioned officially anywhere. Android 5.2 makes me at much sense to me as 7.0 would.

      • NinoBr0wn

        If you look at the way Google has been handling that aspect more recently, it’s a logical conclusion, not definite, but logical that it will be version 7. Besides, it’s just a headline, and we have no name for N yet. What else should they call it other than Android 7.0 at this time?

        • john smith

          That was only one version though.

          • NinoBr0wn

            Yea?

        • Android Developer

          How about Android N ?
          Also, why should it be 7.0 ? There is no 6.x other than 6.0.x yet …

          • Luka Bulatović

            Because last year they announced yearly major updates to Android and that means a number higher every year too. So going by that logic Android O will be 8.0 and so on…

          • Android Developer

            Too bad. This might be used as an excuse to OEMs to avoid updating their devices, because it’s a “major” update every year.

        • graham wells

          Android nobugs(we hope)

    • NinoBr0wn

      What if it isn’t..?

  • Randy Allen

    I’d like to see Nvidia devices mentioned more often.

    • Daggett Beaver

      Nvidia device.

      You’re welcome.

  • MoD33n

    sure wish google would take a page out of Apple’s playbook and be more forceful in forcing OEMs to roll out timely updates, maybe even penalising OEMs for abandoning their customers by not providing updates.

    • Dennis Fluttershy

      Except Apple doesn’t force or penalise OEMs …
      Apple is the only OEM on their market, so they can do whatever they want.

  • Jake Schweitzer

    Windows 10. yep, behind in os but ahead in apps. I find that funny. I would love to see love tiles. I miss that from Windows. Also miss the storage of my old lumia 928 But it will do. I don’t want a knockoff of Windows but live tiles is much more mature. I love how simple Windows is but the app gap. yep. I’ll wait. keep my old phone alive for now.

    • yay

      Microsoft finally has a chance at apps with their “Universal App” feature. Since so many PC’s are gonna be on W10, a lot of apps are gonna come to 10, which should boost W10 Mobile’s app store too! 😃

  • Daggett Beaver

    Wow! I can’t wait to get Android N so I can take advantage of all the great new features I’ve already been using on my Samsung phones for the past 3 years.

    • Veteater

      Wow! I can’t wait to get Android N because I will get improved performance and battery life, enjoy the features, and more importantly, the INTEGRATION of them. And I will not loathe using my phone, features or not, because it won’t lag like, well, a Samsung! Sure, the S7 is an improvement as far as smoothness goes, but it isn’t as smooth (not by a longshot) as my Moto Droid Turbo 2. And this is a perfect example of quality > quantity. What is the purpose of having a V8 engine if it is small and underpowered? Just my 2¢.

      • Daggett Beaver

        A more appropriate analogy would be Nexus = a stripped down 4 cylinder car that runs fast because it lacks the sturdy, heavy frame to protect it, and lacks all the desirable features that would slow it down. No A/C, and you can’t even roll down the windows, because the wind resistance would kill the gas mileage.

        A Samsung (or LG, or another phone) = a fully stocked 6 or 8 cylinder car. It’s more durable, and pushes the engine harder because it comes fully equipped with the features people want.

        Hey, my first car was a feature-free VW Beetle. It was cool. Then I grew up.

        • Veteater

          The Nexus would be a mid-trim half-ton truck w/ a slightly smaller V8, as in 1500. The Samsung would be a specced-up 3/4 ton (2500) w/ the same V8 as the aforementioned 1/2 ton, that is too small to give any towing/acceleration response, and the truck would be too heavy for this engine to support it. The iPhone would be a stripped down half-ton (again 1500) w/ a V6 that is underpowered. Samsung=lag like crazy, stuffed to the max with features, some that are redundant and/or gimmicky. iPhone=somewhat fluid, lag sometimes, stuttering here and there, even with top-of-the-heap hardware, almost no features. How I know this? I had an iPhone 5S and painfully stuck through it for two years. Nexus/Moto=super fluid, almost no lag or stutters, simplistic with well-integrated, non-redundant, and useful features. This is my summary of it.

        • Matthew Harris

          That’s

          • Andre Maruska

            I guess someone here never tested the S6 or S5 with 6.0.1. There is no more lags at all. Still I install other launcher because I like the clean look of pure google launcher. But still, there isn’t any lags now after the update.

  • carnby77

    Well surely you can forget about Asus…i sold the phone because they are very slow in software updates…and bought a Sony!

  • John Telford

    Am I the only one that hasn’t got the update yet? I’m on my 6p running the first version of the beta

  • XYZ

    Will moto g2 get android 7 or android N update?

    • Punit

      May be or may not be

    • Hunter Miller

      Most likely not

  • M42

    I had Marshmallow on my HTC One A9 in November. That’s when the phone shipped and Marshmallow came installed on it. It never had Lollipoop.

  • Mohit Keshri

    Android N is available for Moto x play ?

  • Lovre

    When will my Nokia 3310 get the Android N update? :O

  • Anuj Jaiswar

    Can Android One devicess in India get Android N Update

  • bladenr1

    Htc is fast in their updates. I own htc 10 and happy with it.