Google has just rolled out the first developer preview of Android O, which gives us a sneak peek at all the new features coming in Android’s next major update. Android O primarily focuses on streamlining notifications and improving battery life. It also brings with it new keyboard controls in the wake of Chromebooks supporting Android applications natively.
While Google says the developer preview is ‘strictly’ not intended for daily or consumer use, you can download Android O onto your Android device if you are adventurous enough.
Be warned, as it’s the first developer preview, it will be very buggy and unstable and under no circumstances should be installed on your primary device. Additionally, you can also brick your device if you don’t know what you are doing or if you get any of the steps wrong.
Okay. Still wanting to install the update? You will have to manually flash the software to your device. Here are the steps to be followed:
(Disclaimer: Tech with knowledge shall hold no responsibility if you incur any problems during installation or brick your device)
1. Identify if your device can run the Android O developer preview. Currently, only 6 devices are supported – Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus Player.
2. Back up all your data.
Android O primarily focuses on streamlining notifications and improving battery life
3. Head over to this link here to download the system image for your device. The factory image downloaded from this page includes a script that flashes the device, typically named flash-all.sh (On Windows systems, use flash-all.bat instead).
4. After downloading the system image, you need to download the latest fastboot tool. You can get it from one of the following two sources:
From the Android SDK Platform-Tools package (get adb and fastboot only) or download from the SDK Manager (recommended for app developers).
5. Once you have the fastboot tool, add it to your PATH environment variable (the flash-all script below must be able to find it).
6. Be certain that you’ve set up USB access for your device
7. Unzip the system image you have downloaded to a safe directory.
8. Connect your device to your computer over USB.
9. Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:
Using the adb tool
With the device powered on, execute -adb reboot bootloader
Using a key combo
Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device. For example, to put a Nexus 5 (“hammerhead”) into fastboot mode, press and hold Volume Up + Volume Down + Power as the device begins booting up.
As it is the first developer preview, it will be buggy and unstable and under no circumstances should be installed on your primary device
10. Unlock the device’s bootloader (if necessary) using one of the following methods:
If you are updating a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P device using the hammerhead or angler builds, update your fastboot tool to the latest available version (>=23.0.1), and then run this command – fastboot flashing unlock
If you are updating an older device, run this command – fastboot oem unlock
The target device will show you a confirmation screen.
11. Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.
12. Execute the flash-all script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system
13. Lock the bootloader for security. Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above and execute -fastboot flashing lock. For older devices, run – fastboot oem lock
14.You’re done! Enjoy Android O on your device.