Google appears to be testing N preview on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013), but don’t get excited just yet

by: Bogdan PetrovanMarch 10, 2016

google now nexus 5

The Nexus 5 remains one of the most popular Nexus devices out there, two and a half years after its release. To the vocal disdain of its loyal users, the device is not on the list of devices announced yesterday to get Android N developer preview builds. There is some very faint hope that the Nexus 5 will live to see another update, though.

Nougat is here, though getting it to all devices is a whole other story.See also: (Update: official!) Android N features: everything confirmed, rumored and expected359

As first spotted by, Google appears to be testing Android N preview on the Nexus 5, as well as variants of the Nexus 7 (2013). Code related to Android N preview has been spotted in Google’s repository for hammerhead, the codename of LG Nexus 5.

Specifically, some Nexus 5 code was marked with the “android-n-preview-1” tag. On further digging, we found the same tag on code for Asus Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi (flo) and Nexus 7 (2013) LTE (deb).

Note that the tag is present for all the Nexus devices confirmed to receive N preview (Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player). The tag is not present for older devices like the Nexus 7 (2012) or the Nexus 4.

Now, it’s tempting to look at this as proof that Google is quietly working to surprise us with Android N releases for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). That might be true, but it may easily be just wishful thinking.

There’s a precedent here – Google did not include the Nexus 4 in its original announcement of the devices that would receive Lollipop. The company backtracked and said the omission of Nexus 4 was a simple mistake. But there’s no guarantee that the same is happening here.

Google may be simply testing Android N on the Nexus 5 to see how the OS runs on older hardware, with no intention to roll it out to users. Or it may have other reasons that we are completely unaware of.

Bottom line, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) users, is you shouldn’t get too excited – while there is a theoretical possibility that Android N will one day hit your devices, the code mentioned above is not conclusive proof.

  • Adhitya Mohan

    Nobody cares CM> Stock ROM anyways and you can’t overclock in a stock ROM. There will updates from the community at least for 2 years even if Google decides to turn off the lights.

    • Brandito

      I care

    • tuts

      I care

      • Adhitya Mohan

        Guys you don’t get what I am saying do you Google’s update cycle for the device is over. Even though they put the curtains down the community will keep it alive, there is no need to worry about the lack of updates. This article is pointless IMO

        • Brandito

          I don’t think it’s pointless

        • Bob

          I don’t think it’s pointless

        • Abhijeet

          I don’t think it’s pointless

        • dk

          i don t think its pointless

          • Avi D

            I don’t think it’s pointless

        • Ben Miller

          I don’t point it’s thinkless

        • Zain Qureshi

          I Don’t Think Its Pointless

        • YOTOPRULES .

          I dont think its pointless

    • Lukas Jancik

      I care

    • Abhijeet

      I care

    • Gelson Junior

      I care

    • I care

    • I care

    • mcdonsco

      Something about overclocking a phone just seems stupid.

    • dk

      i care

    • Zain Qureshi

      I Care

    • Aki I.

      I care

    • Andy Chow

      I care

    • aclegg2011

      You can overclock a stock rom. A custom kernel is what supports overclocking.


      I care

  • Druk Ležaj

    Dear Google and OEMs,you don’t need to rush cause we all know that this time next year only 2% percent of all android phones will rock N.

  • Please, I want stock N on my Nexus 5. Please Father Google, please!

    • LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • derk p

      and nexus 7 (2013)!!!!


      Haha!!! Father Google!!!!!

    • Nancy

      Nexus 5X, 5, 7, 9, 6P, 6 and more is now on sale only at NexusPhoneOffers:com

  • Abhijeet

    Apple supported iPhone 4S and some other older devices for almost 5 years. Even if other OEMs don’t follow suit, at least Google can support its own product line, just to set a good example.

    • Benedict

      Not supporting old systems is a sign of innovation. The fact that Apple does that for 5 year old hardware only proves the no-innovation blame. What should then be new on the latest devices/OS if an old device does the same job?!

      • Julen Gaumard

        ^^What a retard looks like.

        • Benedict

          You shouldn’t be too harsh with yourself…

      • Josh

        I don’t want to come off as rude, but that’s absolutely ridiculous. It would be one thing if the Nexus 5 were incapable of running Android N, or if it were missing some necessary hardware components, but it isn’t. It should absolutely be able to run Android N smoothly. Not giving it the update isn’t innovation. It’s planned obsolescence. It’s intentionally handicapping a perfectly capable piece of hardware. What you’re saying is that we shouldn’t get the most out of our old devices just to make new ones look better than they actually are. How about we actually let the new devices do the talking instead? Now THAT is a sign of innovation!

        New devices already have huge advantages over the Nexus 5. They have much better battery life, faster chipsets, more storage, better build quality, fingerprint sensors, bigger/better displays at higher resolutions, etc. Those are already plenty of advantages. There’s no reason to add outdated software to that list.

        • Gavin Varitech

          Not updating certain hardware to the newest version of a company’s firmware does not make something obsolete. My Nexus 5 will still work just fine with Marshmallow when N is released, and Google will continue to support it with regular security updates as well.

    • Christian

      That is the reason why I leave android ( i have nexus 5 ). I don’t want to buy every 2 years a new phone, 5X its a little bit good than nexus 5. Google just want to buy a new phone, not to keep it for long. Its all about the “money”. Goodbye google , welcome apple. I hope all who have a nexus 5 will not upgrade their phone to 5x or other and move all to apple for long years update’s.

      • BlingSco

        You don’t, if you really want the operation system. Their probably hack to put it on your phone. I mean if you run the An 7 OS (version) of a similar phone/tablet, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work on your phone e.g. put the Nexus xyz OS on your phone.

    • Gavin Varitech

      Uhhh, not giving every device the newest version of firmware does NOT equal not supporting older devices. Google is still going to “support” the Nexus 5 and 7 (2013). Even if the Nexus 5, which will be a full 3 years old when N is officially released, does not get N Google will continue to support the device with regular security/performance patches to Marshmallow for years to come, and it works amazingly on Marshmallow.

      BTW, most of those legacy iPhones worked like crap when updated with the newest version of iOS.

      • Abhijeet

        Are you sure about that? Any examples?
        Android and pretty much all mobile OS simply move to the next iteration whenever they do a major upgrade. I have a Nexus 7 3G, which did not get a single update, even security etc. after 5.1.1 build. I am quite sure that any Nexus device that does not get N, wouldn’t get any other OS updates further. Of course the apps installed which are available on Play store would be updated for much longer, but that’s app support not OS.
        The update model you are thinking of, IMHO, exists only on desktop OSes like Windows or Linux, e.g. MS kept updating Windows 7 even when Windows 8/8.1/10 were out, or like Ubuntu does with its LTS releases, where even after release of 16.04 older versions like 12.04 and 14.04 are still supported.

        • Gavin Varitech

          That doesn’t make any sense. I have a Nexus 7 (2013) and it has been on Marshmallow/6.0 since December and gets monthly patches to this day. I just got 6.0.1 (MOB30M) last week.

          • Abhijeet

            Nexus 7 3G -> 2012
            Nexus 7 LTE -> 2013
            I was talking about the 2012 version.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Don’t get excited yet. Hold on, because we still have 35 more articles on Android N in the queue.

  • John Doe

    Please say YES!!!

  • TheScientists

    Hoping my N7 is blessed by the Googly overlords. But if not, XDA is this way –>

  • Satongi

    older hardware.. cmon, snadragon 800 still kicks ass, and my Z Ultra is still alive and rolling!


      Yeah, my nexus 5 runs marshmallow fine! I’m sure it would have no problems running android n

  • Google should be release latest update at least Android “N” cause no difference making from other, For other they will have to wait some time to get OS Update, Its should be 3 years we don’t feel our device is out datated as we are paying quite high amount

  • Ron

    That would be great to get one more year out of this awesome phone.

  • TDN

    This is just common practice, they usually test the new firmware on most Nexus devices to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. I would love for N to make its way to my Nexus 5, but it is rather unlikely that it will.

  • The 2013 Nexus 7 turns 3 years old this summer and since the 2012 Nexus 7 did not get Android M last year, I’m not sure the 2013 Nexus 7 will, but that would be nice. If Google decides not to make Android N for the 2013 Nexus 7, then they should come out with a new Nexus 7 this year. People say the Nexus 9 is too big and the Nexus 7 is a nice compact size. My 2013 Nexus is working well on Android 6.0.1

  • Teo

    Baia mare :) Si eu sunt roman

  • mizkitty

    My Nexus 7 (2013) didn’t get Marshmallow until the last possible minute…no preview releases at all.
    By the time it actually happened it was just a nice surprise…

  • Rony

    Remember the Nexus 7(2013) didn’t get the M developer Preview but got it in the end.

  • aclegg2011

    Just because Google didn’t release android N images for N5 or N7 (2013) doesn’t mean you can’t build android N for the device. Question is, can you use android M binaries on android N?

  • I have two Nexus 7 2013. One is for my personal use, and on which I have installed CM 13. The other is for app development, which is running Google’s stock Marshmallow. Every other day, I am tempted to install CM 13 on it, because Google’s stock ROM lacks features and customisation. The only time I would wish Google had supported Nexus 7 2013 is like this time around, when they are releasing preview versions, because CM is not ready yet.
    But once CM is ready, I would not mind if Google abandoned my Nexus at all.

  • King7Dom

    I reckon they want all the developers to move to the newer phones, so it can take advantage of the new hardware integration like fingerprint sensors and what not. Once it hits production, they will push the update to Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

  • Matty

    Google God!! Please give me Android 7 on my Nexus 5 plz plz plz!!!!!!

  • Adam Burdett

    Well considering the Nexus 7 (2013) is the only 7″ tablet in the Nexus line up, Google would be a bit stupid not to support it, unless they’re thinking of making a new one…. That’d be nice…

  • @AxlLeBeer

    I want it on my Nexus 7 2013! Please that would be so great!

  • Ross

    if it is not available on nexus 5 i can’t rely on keeping my phone current when buying another nexus, that’s a problem when I want my phone ownership to be on a 3 yr cycle.

  • Lee Alan Bartholomew

    Well considering Google had complained about other companies fragmented their versions and not supporting the latest releases it sort of sets the bar that their main Devices carrying the Nexus brand would have to put the new release on each device for some time. Or the company’s will point the finger back at Google and say why should they support the latest OS if Google themselves don’t. True Nexus 7 is made by Asus. But it’s labeled the Google Nexus 7 (2013) 2012 etc. And for what I need it for it still runs albeit with one error. The orientation gizmo hasn’t worked since the update to 6. On mine. I have the higher storage version. Mom has the lower. So I need a rotate app to rotate the screen. Which causes problems for other apps with overlay problems. :( ie the compass doesn’t work which is whats probably causing the problem. It’s stuck in Portrait until one app like vudu forces it to landscape then it’s stuck in Landscape until another app forces it back to portrait.