Android released the fourth and final developer preview of Android O to help you get your apps ready for the official launch. It is available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and the Android Emulator. In order to receive updates for the fourth preview, your device must be enrolled with the Android Beta Program as it allows testers to easily load the preview on the device.
Google wants all software developers to prepare well in advance to ensure that their applications are ready to switch over to Android O at the time of release. It is a conscious attempt in order to avoid any hindrances while switching. According to the Android Developer Blog, this is the last preview before the actual roll out of Android O platform. The platform testing is in the final stage after which the updates will be released.
An introduction to Android O developer preview 4
The final preview is a release candidate build that can be used to complete development and testing in time. It includes the final system behaviors, final APIs, latest bug fixes and optimization. The final APIs were already released in the third preview so the fourth preview is all about stability and incremental updates.
Users using the latest version of Android will be among the most active users in terms of downloading apps, content consumption and making purchases. They will be more vocal about the support system within the apps. Android O will launch features like notification channels and dots, shortcut pinning and picture in picture auto fill and much more. These new features will lead to an increase in user engagement as users update their smartphones to Android O over time.
Android O offers more control and security to the users while improving the overall performance of the app. Apart from this the new adaptive icons, downloadable fonts, and auto-sizing TextView will simplify development and minimize the APK size. Optimizing the app further will benefit the users in handling battery shortage.
Increase the speed of your development with Android Studio
When building applications for Android O, it is recommended that you update to the latest version of Android Studio 3.0. It is available for download from the canary channel. The latest version offers support for Kotlin programming language and Gradle builds apart from providing performance tools.
A new stable version of the Android Support library 26.0.0 is also available with included support for features like Android testing Orchestrator, Multiprocess Espresso. It is considered to be having more stability than the earlier versions. All major SDKs, tools and Android Emulator will also have some minor changes in the new version.
You can update your projects compile SDK version to API 26. You must test your application with Android O specific behavior changes. When you are ready, you can publish your APK updates in your alpha, beta or production channels as Google Play is now open for application built with API 26
How to get the Developer Preview 4
You simply have to visit the Android Beta Program and opt in for your eligible phone or tablet. Alternatively, you can also download and flash this update manually. As soon as the official version of Android O is released all enrolled devices will update automatically.