Google just opened the Android P Beta Program for 11 different smartphones. Something they’ve never done. It’s a tempting update for Pixel, OnePlus, Nokia, Essential and other smartphone owners. And while there are certainly some exciting changes or new features, there are also reasons to avoid trying the Android 9.0 P beta on your phone.
Most users with a supported device already have Android 8.1 Oreo. Google’s last stable software release. However, at Google I/O we just received the Android P Developer Preview 2. Delivering new features, gesture controls, AI smarts and more. And, millions of phone owners can try it right now.
Google opened the Android P beta program to seven different smartphone manufacturers, and 11 different devices. Those include the Google Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel XL/2 XL, along with the OnePlus 6, Essential PH-1, Sony Xperia XZ2, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and Vivo X21.
We know you’re excited if you own one of these phones. With that in mind, below we’ll be sharing details on the Android P update from our Pixel XL, and if it’s worth installing. Then, we’ll offer some tips for those looking to install it, and help you along the way. If you’re considering trying the Android P beta read on for some of the benefits and downsides.
This is the next big update for your Android smartphone or tablet. This will be Android 9.0 “P” when it officially arrives in August or September later this year.
Before you instantly jump at the chance to download Android P on your phone, keep in mind that this is still very early software. And while this is the second release, it’s still “beta” software. Furthermore, Google’s never given this many devices access. Meaning there’s a lot of potential for problems.
Not to mention things are likely broken, missing feature, and it’s still incomplete. It’s a developer preview, for developers, and not for your daily device.
Today though, Android P is still pretty promising. You’ll like the new look of notifications, and all the smart controls and in-line replies or images. We love Google’s new gesture controls, which work great on the Oppo R15. The new smart reply in-line on notifications is a welcomed change too. There are even more dynamic icons, improved auto-fill, and some neat new things coming to Google Assistant and Lens.
If you dare, you’ll enjoy some of these new changes and controls on the Pixel, upcoming OnePlus 6, Essential PH-1, Oppo R15, or phones from Nokia, Sony, and other manufacturers. Just be ready to deal with some potential problems. Considering this is an early developer preview and new software, it is not the most stable version of Android available. In fact, Google themselves warned users about bugs and states it is not ready for daily use. That said, I’ve used it on my Pixel XL for over 2 months without any major hiccups.
Installing the Android P beta has its benefits but there are also downsides to using early software and we want to discuss those here. Including the somewhat convoluted process of installing it on a phone that’s not a Pixel. Those other manufacturers aren’t a part of the “beta program”. So it’s not as simple as you think. Here’s why you should or shouldn’t try the Android P beta today, and links to all 7 manufacturers download and developer pages.
Install Android P If You Dare
Google's developer preview betas are exactly that, an early developer preview. They aren't intended for anyone and everyone. Even though anyone that wants to try it can.
In fact, you will run into bugs, there's no question about that. Especially on devices like the Essential phone or the brand new OnePlus 6. Google themselves confirmed more than a few are present in the software when they released it back in March, and most of those are in the second version too.
We're running the Android P Developer Preview 2 beta on our Pixel XL and Pixel 2, and so far it's very stable. All I had to do was join the beta, click ok, and wait for the update to hit my phone.
If you have a phone from someone else aside from Google, it's not that easy. However, go to the beta program device page for more help, or click the links below for the phone you own to get started.
Those links will tell you everything you need to know. Either way, you should only install it if you like living on the edge and dare to handle any issues. Yes, it has some benefits, but also a few cons. So far the software runs pretty smooth, and battery life seems decent. Don't say we didn't warn you though.