The prospect of beta testing an unfinished Android iteration on devices not manufactured under Google’s direct supervision has been a dream many power users couldn’t dare to dream. Heck, until 2014, so-called developer previews of unreleased major OS versions weren’t even available for members of the Nexus family.
But this year, the first pre-launch Android N build rolled out to courageous software tinkerers surprisingly early, signaling… something. We couldn’t put our finger on exactly what was coming, but it was definitely good.
A commercial dispatch in the summer, perhaps. Or maybe just a lengthier open development stage to fulfil more wishes of the masses. How about the beginning of the end for fragmentation, with OEM partners directly involved in shaping Nutella? Can we at least hope for earlier updates sent to today’s Marshmallow flagships?
We wouldn’t rule out anything, especially after discovering a line of code that hints at impending Android N developer previews for phones built by third-party companies. No names are mentioned, of course, but Motorola, aka Lenovo, aka Moto by Lenovo, has to be on top of the list.
For OEMs that heavily modify Android’s look, feel and functionality before loading it up on their products, running Android N these next few months seems a lot trickier. That includes Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony and many others, so for the time being, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and don’t expect the impossible.
It’s not like Samsung will invest time and resources in mixing TouchWiz and an unstable Android N variant already. And the chances of seeing the Galaxy S7 allowed to run a stock N dev preview look slimmer yet.