android nougat

Android Nougat is here and Google deserves praise for how fast it managed to push out OTA updates to the folks who enrolled in the Android Beta program.

Many Beta users – including much of the Android Authority team – got their update notifications within 1-2 hours of the official announcement, making for a very fast and pain-free update process. Even better, Google also pushed out quick updates to users who signed up for the Beta after Nougat was officially introduced.

So, now that you’re running stable Android 7.0 Nougat through Android Beta, what are your options? Should you stick around? Should you unenroll? Here’s what you need to know.

Option 1: Stay in the Android Beta program

According to the Android Beta Program page, if you choose to continue with the Beta, you will automatically receive OTA updates for pre-release versions of the maintenance releases (MR) that Google announced for this fall. These maintenance releases will come out regularly, bringing bug fixes and potentially new features, much like how monthly security patches address vulnerabilities discovered in Android.

Note that the MR OTAs will be “pre-release” versions, so they might be less polished than a full stable release. If you rely on your phone for critical applications (financial, health, navigation, etc.) you may want to avoid these beta patches by unenrolling from the Android Beta program.

In addition to the pre-release versions of MRs, you will presumably also get OTAs for the stable versions, once Google irons out the kinks discovered in pre-release.

Option 2: Leave the Android Beta program

If you’re bug-averse, if you need to rely 100% on your phone, or if you can’t be bothered with any pre-release nonsense, the best route is to unenroll from the Android Beta program.

To unenroll from Android Beta, visit this page and select the device you want to unenroll. You will then receive an OTA notification that will bring your device back to the latest stable version of Android.

  • Your device will be wiped, so make sure to save/back-up any stuff you want to keep. Update: as several readers have pointed out, unenrolling after updating to Nougat will not wipe your device. Thanks for the clarification!
  • It’s not clear what the latest stable version is right now. It’s possible that, if you unenroll today, you will be bounced back to Marshmallow. If that happens, you might have to wait a few days for the update to Nougat.

There you have it. Are you enrolled in the Beta? Do you plan to continue with the program? Let us know your thoughts.

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