How to install Android N beta on your phone or tablet

Do you want to test Android N beta? Google thinks you should, and this guide will walk you through the enrollment, installation, and everything you need to know.

Installing Android N beta on a Nexus device

Google is gearing up to release Android N later this summer for phones and tablets with a lot of improvements and features, including Google Assistant, Instant Apps, reply in notifications and group notifications, multi-window, night mode, new battery saving improvements with the Doze feature, and a lot more.

It’ll be an exciting release for many Android fans, but if you don’t want to wait, similar to Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program to test new early versions of the operating system, Google has its Android Beta program that is open to the public.

The beta program allows you the opportunity to try the pre-release versions of Android N on certain devices that you may opt into the program. Once the device is enrolled, it’ll receive the latest version of Android N on an over-the-air (OTA) update.

In this guide, you’ll get everything you need to know to install Android N beta to test all the new features and changes, and you’ll also see the instructions to leave the program and roll back to the stable public release of the Google’s mobile operating system.

How to enroll and install Android N beta

When you’re ready to try Google’s upcoming Android N, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Android Beta Program page

  2. Sign-in with your Google Account that you’re currently using on your eligible phone or tablet.

  3. Scroll down and you’ll find a list with all the devices compatible with Android N beta, just click the Enroll device button.

    Android N beta enroll

Now that your Google device is enrolled on the Android Beta Program, you’ll need to wait up to 24 hours for the update to arrive into your device. If you don’t see the update you can go to Settings > About > System updates and check for updates.

Consider that any device hidden on Google Play won’t appear listed to enroll in the beta program. To fix this issue, check your Google Play settings

Alternatively, you can manually install Android N on your device by downloading the image from developer.android.com, but following this route will block you from getting over-the-air updates automatically, unless, of course, you enroll your device in the Android Beta Program.

According to Google, during the beta program, you’ll receive a new preview every 4 to 6 weeks. Then after Android N releases to the public, you’ll have to make the decision to continue receiving future previews, which Google call “maintenance releases (MRs)”, or you may opt-out of the program and return to the stable release everyone is using.

Devices eligible for Android N beta

Only the following devices are compatible to run the beta version of Android N:

  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus Player
  • Pixel C
  • General Mobile 4G (Android One)

If you own a Sony Xperia Z3, you can try Google’s new mobile operating system through the Sony’s N Developer Preview program

How to check if you’re running Android N beta

You can use the following steps to check the version of Android you’re running:

On your device, navigate through Settings > About > Build number. If you see the build number starting with NP, then Android N has been successfully installed. Or reboot your Google device, and then you’ll see a message telling you are running the beta version of Android.

How to leave the beta program and uninstall Android N

If you decide that you’re not ready for Android N, you can leave the beta program at any time. However, remember to backup any data and settings that are not already automatically backed up, as the roll back to the public release of Android will erase everything on your device to install the latest stable release of the operating system.

When you’re ready to stop using the beta version of Android N, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Android Beta Program page

  2. Sign-in with your Google Account that you’re currently using on your eligible phone or tablet.

  3. Scroll down and you’ll find a list with all the devices compatible with Android N beta, just click the Unenroll device button.

Soon after you press the Unenroll device button and an update will arrive to your device to wipe out the beta version and data, and it’ll install the latest stable version of Android.

Should you install the beta version of Android N?

While Google feels that Android N is polished and stable enough to run as your primary operating system on your phone and tablet, remember that it’s a beta version, which means that it is not a finished product. The pre-release version of the operating system contains bugs, incomplete features, and many things will not work correctly affecting the functionality of your phone or tablet.

Google has published several known issues for Android N that users should be aware of before jumping into the beta program.

Although with each new release, the company will continue to improve the operating system, currently there are some known issues with the Camera app, audio performance, Wi-Fi connectivity drops, and media playback. This is in addition to the problems when using multi-window mode, Google Play services, external storage, and more.

You can see all the known issues for Android N at the Android Developers website.

Will you be installing Android N beta on your phone? Let us know in the comments below.

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