Android N Developer Preview expands beyond Google’s own devices, hits Sony’s Xperia Z3

Google and Sony today announced that the Android N Developer Preview is now available on Sony’s Xperia Z3. This marks the first time the next version of Android — which is currently available in its second beta — is available outside of Google’s own phones and the 4G Android One from General Mobile, which also runs stock Android.

Sony isn’t typically all that fast in shipping updates for its phones. Android Marshmallow only found its way to the Z3 last month. The company also typically customizes the OS (though generally less than some of its competitors). That makes the Z3, which also isn’t exactly Sony’s flagship phone anymore, an interesting choice for Android N, but maybe it heralds a shift in how Sony will handle Android updates going forward.

homescreen-medium_amended1Unlike Google’s own devices, though, you won’t be able to enroll in the N preview online and then get the update over the air. Instead, you’ll have to download the preview and manually flash your device. After this, future updates will arrive over the air direct from Sony.

With this update, you can now install the Android N Developer Preview on the Z3, Nexus 6, 6X, 6P, Nexus Player, the Pixel C tablet, and the General Mobile 4G (Android One).

I’ve been running Android N on a Pixel C tablet since the day it launched and it’s surprisingly stable already, but it will occasionally lock up for a few seconds and a few third-party apps don’t quite work on it yet. Keep that in mind if you plan on installing this preview.