Google I/O 2016 has just kicked off and we have brand new information regarding the next major Android release. When should you expect the Android N update on your device? HTC is the first out of the gate, confirming the update for three devices. This is what we know so far.
When will the Android N update be released?
We expect to see Android N appear in final form in the late summer. It will replace Android Marshmallow, which many of you are still waiting for. Currently, you can install the Android N Developer Preview on supported Nexus devices. Find out what smartphones and tablets the Android N update will make its way to and when right here.
Jump directly to:
- How to install Android N manually
- How to install Android N automatically
- How to install Android N from factory images (Nexus range)
Android N update: Samsung
It’s still early days in Android N land, and manufacturers are reluctant to make concrete promises at any given time, let alone this far in advance. However, normally, Samsung maintains a two-year update window on devices, so it’s a safe bet to assume that the Android N will be making its way to all Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 variants. The Galaxy S5 is a less safe bet. The Galaxy S4 has not seen an update to Marshmallow, so Android N may be the S5’s turn to fall behind.
Samsung was not so hot on the Marshmallow update front. Expect to wait six months following the official Nexus roll out before your flagship Galaxy gets Android N. The Galaxy Note 6 may launch with Android N in the late summer, but if not, the update shouldn’t be far behind.
Android N update: Nexus
The Nexus line is Android blue blood. They are the first devices to see updates and this will continue to be the case so long as there is a Google above. Updates roll out over the air, and you have nothing to worry about. Come late summer, the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player are all certain to see Android N.
Skip down the page to see how you can get the Android N Developer Preview on your Nexus right now.
Android N update: HTC
HTC has taken steps to streamline its development process in an attempt to ensure more timely Android updates. So our hopes are high that by the time the new years rolls around, HTC 2016 devices will bear Android N inside them.
The day after Android N was detailed at Google I/O, HTC announced that the new firmware would be making its way to the HTC 10, One A9 and One M9. The announcement also made it clear that more devices would receive the update, but this confirmation would come later in the year, “when Google ships Android N to manufacturers.”
Android N update: Sony
Sony usually lags behind the other major manufacturers when pushing out updates. Ahead of its Android Marshmallow rollout, Sony advised: “Sony Mobile is working hard to bring this update to as many of [its recent Xperia] devices as possible in a timely manner,” but was unspecific on dates.
Given Sony’s recent past, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a Sony device updated to Android N before the start of 2017.
Having said that, Sony is working together with Google on this one, and the Xperia Z3 can already receive the Android N Developer Preview – the only non-Nexus device currently in such a privileged position – so perhaps our hopes can be a little higher.
Android N update: LG
LG was one of the first manufacturers to produce the Marshmallow update last year, bringing its LG G4 up to date with Android 6.0 as early as October in some regions.
Even better, they made the software available for download online, so users didn’t have to wait for updates over-the-air. There’s nothing to suggest that LG won’t be able to achieve the same again this year with its flagship device, the LG G5. So far, the Korean manufacturer hasn’t made any announcements, however.
Android N update: Huawei
Huawei are generally quick to make promises and slow to fulfill them. The company’s track record of rolling out updates is, shall we say, not excellent. You can expect its latest flagships to receive an update to Android N, but whether that will be before Android O is released is the real question.
Android N update: Levono / Motorola
Lenovo is now running things over in Moto land, but given the near-stock nature of the devices’ software, there is little reason why timely updates should not continue as usual. The roll out of Marshmallow did see some upsetting exclusions, however, so let’s hope Lenovo decides to be a little more welcoming of the entire Moto family.
How to install Android N manually
Install the Android N update on the Sony Xperia Z3
Google had previously hinted that the Android N Developer Preview might make its way to non-Nexus devices, and shortly thereafter, Sony announced official support for the experimental software on the Z3 (D6603 and D6653 models) through its Xperia Companion application.
The Xperia Companion app makes installing Android N a pain-free procedure. However, before you proceed, be aware that all your data will be wiped and the software is not stable. If you want to install the software, it would be wise tomake a backup of your device first.
We tried the update out on an Xperia Z3 here in the offices and can confirm that installing it is a breeze. All it requires is a Windows or OS X computer and few moments of patience.
The first thing you need to do is grab the Xperia Companion software and install it on your computer. Open Xperia Companion and hold down the ALT key while clicking on Software repair. Press on Next untill you can select Android N Developer Preview. While your device is disconnected from your computer, turn it off and wait at least five seconds. Then press and hold the Volume down key. Keep holding it and connect your device to your computer via USB.
When the software begins flashing, you’re best off not touching the device at all. Just leave it until everything is finished.
You can return your device to factory settings at any time by doing the same as above but without holding the ALT key when pressing on Software repair. Beware once more that all your data will be wiped.
Android N on Nexus devices: over the air
The download and installation of the Android N Developer Preview has been made easier than ever before. For the first time, you can preview the firmware through over-the-air updates, which also allow you to easily roll back to the more stable Android Marshmallow.
Just head over to the Google site, login in with your Google account, and activate the device you wish to use in the beta program and follow the instructions.
Android N on Nexus devices: factory images
The conventional method of installing Android Developer Previews, prior to the beta program, was via facotry images. Google releases these here.
To install a factory image, you need a PC running a recent version of the Android Platform Tools, and your smartphone must have an unlocked bootloader. The process for flashing the image remains the same as how it was done with the Android Marshmallow Developer Preview.
Android N is currently available for the following Nexus devices:
- Nexus 5X
- Nexus 6
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus 9
- Nexus Player
- Pixel C
- Android One
We’ll update this page with more manufacturers and devices as they are announced. Until the, let us know which device you want to see Android N on first.