Google opens up Android N beta to everyone

The developer beta has been out for a while, but the latest update has made it much more stable

Doug Bolton
Thursday 19 May 2016 15:06
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The Android booth at the 2013 I/O conference
The Android booth at the 2013 I/O conference

Google unveiled some of the first details of its new Android N operating system at the opening event of the I/O conference, and you can now try a beta version for yourself.

The new features included in Android N are far too many to list, but Google promises the operating system will provide better performance, enhanced security, streamlined notifications, and most importantly, 72 new emojis.

Android N will be released to everyone this summer, but it's possible to try the beta version right now.

A developer beta was released a few months ago, but this is the public beta - it's a bit more stable, and hopefully should be practical as a daily alternative to your current OS.

Unfortunately, if you want to try the beta, you'll need a Google device. The only devices eligible for the test are the Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones, the Nexus 7, 9 and Pixel C tablets, and the Nexus Player media player.

If you've got one of these devices, you can go to the Android Beta Programme website, log in to your Google account, and download and install the beta to your phone.

You should think carefully about trying it out, however. Beta versions of software are much more unstable and unpredicatable than final versions, so your phone may not run quite as smoothly as it usually does.

And if you decide to opt out of the beta and go back to the version you had before, all your data will be wiped - so make sure you back up your phone first.

If there are problems, they should be fixed quickly. Google says the beta will be updated every four to six weeks until the official launch, and there'll be a healthy community of other beta users to get tips from online.

Android N looks set to be a great operating system, so if you want to get ahead of the curve, the beta might be worth a look.

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