Just earlier this hour, Google released the details and images for the new Android P developer preview, and now we know what sort of schedule to expect for future releases—assuming Google sticks to it. The current plans are to push the 2nd Developer Preview in May. Two more are planned for June with a final image expected to land in July before the ultimate Q3 release.
Google has also published some details associated with each of the coming Developer Preview images, so we have a rough idea of what to expect each to be used for:
- Preview 1 (initial release, alpha)
- Preview 2 (incremental update, beta)
- Preview 3 (final APIs and official SDK, Play publishing, beta)
- Preview 4 (release candidate for testing)
- Preview 5 (release candidate for final testing)
- Final release to AOSP and ecosystem
Today's image is the initial alpha, so if things are a bit rough around the edges, that's to be expected, as it's only meant to let developers prepare for app compatibility. The next release is a bit under two months away, according to the non-specific timeline visual, but it's planned to be a more stable beta for developers to add and test new features in Android P in their applications. A month after that, Google will hopefully have finalized APIs and the SDK, and the remaining image releases should iron things out.
For now, there's still no beta program, but when the next image lands that should hopefully change. Until then Android P will require an adventure in manual flashing or OTA sideloading. Make sure your ADB and Fastboot binaries are up to date.
Developers hoping to ensure app compatibility with Android P should read the full timeline description over on the Android Developers site.