Google just released the final Android P Developer Preview 5 and Android P beta since its debut back in March. It’s a tempting update for Pixel, Pixel 2, and others in the beta program. 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, in recent months we’ve received several versions of Android 9.0 and the final “release candidate” is finally here. 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 now that they’re on the 5th release 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 early software. And while this is the final beta, it’s still “beta” software. Furthermore, Google’s never given this many devices access. Meaning the potential for problems is quite high.
Today though, Android P is still pretty promising. You’ll like the new look of notifications, and all the smart controls, gesture navigation, 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, OnePlus 6, Essential PH-1, Oppo R15, or phones from Nokia, Sony, and other manufacturers. Just be ready to deal with some potential problems. 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 nearly four months now and it works great. And with this being the 5th “release candidate” it’s as stable as it’ll get.
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, although they've fixed most of them over the past 3-4 months.
We're running the Android P Developer Preview 5 (beta 4) on our Pixel XL and Pixel 2, which just arrived today, July 25th. So far it's plenty stable, just like the last three releases were. 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. Essential just released a beta with this 5th preview too, which is impressive.
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.