Google made Android N Developer Preview version available to selected devices on 2nd April. This version is currently available on Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Google Pixel C and Android One. Previously, installing a Developer Preview used to be a tiresome task but now Google has made it so easy that anyone can do it. Although the Developer Preview version is intended for developers and there are a few mention bugs but if you want to try Android N before the final consumer version is released, you can follow this guide. You should not install the Developer Preview version on your primary device as there are a lot of performance issues, poor battery life and incompatibility with some apps. But if you are curious how Android N looks like and you have a Nexus lying around then you can follow this guide to know how to install Android N. This guide also includes instructions on how to uninstall Android and go back to Android Marshmallow.
How to install Android N
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Google Pixel C
Downloading Android N
It is not pretty simple to download a Developer Preview version thanks to Google’s new Android Beta Program. The devices that are enrolled to this program will bet OTA updates to the latest Android operating system whenever they are available.
Step 1: Open a web browser of your choice on your device. Enter g.co/androidbeta on the URL bar. You will be asked to enter your Google credentials.
Step 2: Scroll down till you see the heading ‘Eligible devices’, if you have any. If not, you cannot get Android N Developer Preview.
Step 3: Select the Nexus device you want to enroll to the program. Click the ‘Enroll device’.
Step 4: Tick the box to agree to the terms and conditions and then tap ‘Join Beta’.
Step 5: You will receive a message that says your device has been enrolled and you will soon receive the OTA update. Tap on Okay.
Step 6: It may take up to 24 hours to receive the update. If you still haven’t received any notification regarding the update then check you Internet connection and then head to Settings > About > System updates > Check for updates. If you have flashed Android Marshmallow on your Nexus instead of traditionally installing it via OTA then you will get a notification saying that verification has failed. If that’s the case then you have to manually download and flash Android N Developer Preview. You can follow the guide below for manually flashing Android Marshmallow.
Step 7: After you get the notification saying ‘System update available’, tap on Download.
Step 8: You will now be told that this will install a preview version of Android N. The size of the update will vary according to the device. Ensure you are connected to Wi-Fi and then tap on Download.
Step 9: After the download has finished, you can now install the Android N Developer Preview. Tap on Restart & install to begin the installation process.
Step 10: You will receive an update notification every 4 to 6 weeks until the final version of Android N’s release in Q3 of 2016.
There will be 5 Preview versions which will include various refinements and new features. The final version will follow Preview 5. You can send error reports and bugs to developer.android.com/preview/bug or you can also do that using he Send feedback option on Android N Quick Settings tile or via Settings.
How to Downgrade Android N Developer Preview
Uninstalling Android N Developer Preview is as simple as installing it. Simply go to g.co/androidbeta and then tap on ‘Unenroll device’ button. Note that doing so will wipe all your data on your device so make sure you have backed up your Android first.
How to Install Android Marshmallow
Android Marshmallow is already available on most on the Nexus devices and most of the high end device from makes such as LG and Samsung. Before you install Android M on your device, make sure all your data are back up safely. Make sure you follow each and every step carefully as it is quite possibly to brick your device is you do not know what you are doing. We take no responsibility if your brick your device.
Step 1: Download and install Minimal ADB and Fastboot on your Windows PC.
Step 2: Download the proper Android M installer file for your device from the Android Developer’s site. Choose the file compatible with your device. Flashing the wrong file will brick your device.
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Note: If you have flashed Android M Developer Preview previously, that device will not get OTA update to the final build of Android N.
Step 3: Extract the contents of the downloaded file on your desktop. After that move the extracted files into C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot. Some users may need to rename the .tgz file extension to .tar in order to complete this step.
Step 4: On your device go to Settings > About phone/tablet > Tap on Build Number 7 times to unlock Developer Options. Open Developer Options and then enable USB debugging and OEM Unlock.
Step 5: Plug in your device tp the PC via USB and then download the Google USB drivers. Extract the contents. Go to Devices and Printers on your PC > right click on your device > choose Properties > open Hardware tab > choose the top entry under Device Functions > click on Properties. Update the drives by browsing the recently downloaded USB Drivers. You will receive a prompt on your device saying ‘Allow USB debugging’; select ‘Always allow from this computer’ and them tap Ok.
Step 6: You are now ready to flash Android M. Launch the Minimal ADB and Fastboot and type the following
This will reboot your device to Fastboot mode. This can also be done by simultaneously pressing Power , Volume Up and Volume Down buttons.
Step 7: On your PC, scan the screen for any information regarding Lock State. If you find that this device is unlocked then move on to the next step. If the bootloader is locked then type the following and hit Enter.
[quote]fastboot oem unlock[/quote]
Use the Volume buttons to select Yes and then use Power button to confirm selection.
Step 8: Now type the following and then hit Enter
When it’s finished, the device will reboot and you will be greeted with Android M.
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Note: If you receive an error message saying that the update package was missing system.img, follow the steps below. If not, you can enjoy Android M.
Step 9: Go to the files you recently extracted – the Android M installer package. You will find another .zip file inside it. Inside it will be the missing system.img file. Extract this zip and then copy the contents into C:\Program File (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot.
Step 10: You now have to manually install each file. Use the following commands. Press Enter to execute each command. This is for Nexus 6; the file name will differ for the Nexus 5, 9 and Player.
[quote]fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-shamu-moto-apq8084-71.11.img [/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash radio radio-shamu-D4.01-9625-05.16+FSG-9625-02.94.img [/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash recovery recovery.img[/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash boot boot.img[/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash system system.img[/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash cache cache.img[/quote]
[quote]fastboot erase userdata[/quote]
[quote]fastboot flash userdata userdata.img[/quote]
You will now have Android M installed and running on your device.