If you own a Nexus device and love playing with the latest versions of Android, you might be happy to know that you can update your device to the Android N beta over the air (OTA). This can only be done for Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One).
With one of these devices, you don’t have to worry about unlocking the bootloader or reprogramming the device using a system image. All you have to do is sign up for the Android beta testing program, register your device, and you’re done!
I’ll walk you through how to do this in this article, but remember that pre-release Androids are usually unstable, so don’t do this on your primary device. If you do this and regret it later, there is a way to revert to the latest stable version of Android, which I will also discuss below.
Join the Android Beta Program.
The first step is to join the beta program and register your device. Visit the Android Beta Program. website and sign in with your Google account credentials. Use the same account as on your Nexus device.
You should see a list of eligible devices near the middle of the page. If you can’t see your device, make sure it’s not hidden on Google Play. Click the Register Device button and accept the license agreement.
Install the Android Beta
The device will be registered and you should receive a prompt on your phone that an update is now available for your phone.
Click on the notification and you will see a message with a link to download the latest Android version to your Nexus device.
The post also mentions a couple of new features in the Android beta. For Android N, new features include multi-window support, direct response to notifications, and more. Once the beta is fully downloaded, you will receive another installation notification.
The installation process will take 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your device. Once installed, you should be able to log into your device normally if all goes well. You may also have multiple app updates ready.
You can always make sure you are using the Android N beta by going to Settings and then fully tapping About Phone at the bottom.
Finally, scroll down again and you will see the Android build number.
If the build number starts with NP, it means it is a beta version of Android N. If you are having problems with the beta version of Android on your device, you can always revert to the latest stable version.
To do this, simply log into the Android Beta Program. website and you will see a “Unregister Device” button.
When you click on this, you will receive another notification on your device to download the OTA update, which will erase everything on your phone and install the latest public stable version of Android.
Overall, this is a great app for anyone with a Nexus device. If you don’t have a Nexus device, the process is much more complicated and prone to errors and crashes. With the beta testing program, anyone can test the latest version of Android with new taps and clicks. In one of the following posts, I will share some of the new features in Android N. Enjoy!