Well, that came out of nowhere! Even with Marshmallow still on a very small percentage of devices in the Android ecosystem, the developers have unveiled the Developer Preview for the next version of the operating system, a version so new that it hasn’t even been named yet: Android N.
What’s more, Android has outlined exactly how the Developer Preview will roll out. It starts today, naturally, with the initial release of alpha. From now until Q3, the OS devs will be releasing incremental updates on a roughly by-the-month schedule. That means that we should expect to see beta releases in April and May, followed by final API’s and official SDK, Play publishing this summer. The final release is slated roughly for Q3, giving the developers some wiggle room to work out any kinks they may encounter between now and then.
These early spring milestones essentially look to give app developers a rudimentary development environment so that they can work out what issues they can expect to encounter with the update. By the time we get to the fourth stage of the preview, moving out of beta, devs will be able to start publishing apps officially running Android N API.
All in all, this is exciting news – especially for Nexus owners, who will be let into the Android N circle long before many other devices get to taste it. This Developer Preview is so far out ahead of the release that the official name of the operating system hasn’t been released yet. Nutella? Necco Wafer? Nougat? We’ll find out soon.
If you’re an app developer ands you want to make sure that your app stays on the cutting edge of the Android operating system from now through the end of the year, head over to the official program overview and start experimenting with the test development environment. And, as always, stay tuned to Android Authority for more information on Android N as it comes out.