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

Google appears to be testing Android N preview on the Nexus 5, as well as variants of the Nexus 7 (2013). That's not conclusive proof that N preview will ever roll out to the devices.

Published onMarch 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.

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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.

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