Google has just released a developer preview for Android’s next version, currently known only as “Android P.” The preview allows developers to get a head start on making their apps compatible with the new Android release before it eventually launches in Q3.
Beyond the preview itself, Google has revealed a timeline for future releases. The second developer preview comes out in May, a third and fourth in June, and a fifth in July, before the final release planned for Q3 2018.
Each release will include SDK tools, preview system images, emulators, API reference, and API diffs. They’ll be timed to accompany “key development milestones” that Google has laid out along with the timeline:
- Preview 1 (initial release, alpha)
- Preview 2 (incremental update, beta)
- Preview 3 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing, beta)
- Preview 4 (release candidate for testing)
- Preview 5 (release candidate for final testing)
- Final release to AOSP and ecosystem
The first two milestones are designed to give developers a general sense of compatibility issues and to plan for challenges ahead and prepare for migration to the new platform. Then preview 3 allows access to the final P APIs and SDK along with updated beta system images to test system behaviors and features.
This stage will also allow developers to publish their apps to devices running Android P through the Android Beta program. This will allow for customer feedback and tweaking before the official launch.
Previews 4 and 5 will include final APIs and near-final system images.
If you’re a developer, make sure you read all the details over on the Android Developers Blog. And stay tuned for updates and announcements.