Android 7.0 Nougat statue copy

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the Android Developer Preview program since its inception in 2014 with Android L. While Lollipop only saw one developer preview, Android M would end up offering three previews. With Android N, Google has upped its game even further, with the fifth and final preview of Android 7.0 Nougat arriving earlier this month. So what’s next for Android 7.0 and its release cycle?

Typically final versions of Android don’t arrive until October, but with the aggressive development schedule we’ve seen with Nougat, we can’t help but wonder if the update will arrive a bit earlier this year. If Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) proves correct, the answer is “yes, it’s coming next month”.

Further backing up Evan’s claims, a recent post on reddit claims one Nexus 6P user was accidentally pushed to Android 7.0 build NRD90M when attempting to ditch the Nougat developer preview and return to the stable Android 6.0.1 release. For those that don’t know, “R” in the build name stands for release, and so this was likely an internal build that Google is testing out in preparation of the final release. In other words, all signs point to a final release in the very near future.

So what does that mean for Google’s 2016 Nexus phones? Google traditionally releases new Android builds alongside Nexus phones and tablets. Unless Google plans to break tradition and release Nougat to existing Nexus phones first, that means we might be seeing the next generation HTC-made Nexus phones as early as next month. Again, Google has proven more than once that it’s willing to break its own rules, so almost anything could happen.

What do you think of Android 7.0 Nougat so far? Excited that we may seen the final build in just a few short weeks? Do you think Google will also release new Nexus phones early, or will they push the update to existing Nexus phones first and hold off on the new Nexus phones until the fall?