As they did with the release of Android Oreo, we now have a rough timeline of the scheduled releases of Android P. First, the not-so-shocking news. It is going to be Q3 of this year before the public release of Android P happens. That falls right in line with previous Android releases and fits with the expected release of the next generation of Pixel phones.
With the release of the first developer preview today, it looks like the next one isn’t going to drop until early in May. That, again, isn’t shocking. Google’s developer conference, Google I/O, happens the first week in May. When DP2 gets here, it is expected to be available to the Android Beta program for registered and supported devices.
DP3, from a developer perspective, is probably the most important of the planned releases. It is in that build that the APIs for Android P will be finalized and the SDK will be available. It will be at this point where developer seriously start updating apps to support P going forward.
Developer Previews 4 and 5 are more or less release candidate builds. These are the final builds that put the polish on the final release and test it for stability and performance. Any bugs found in DP4 will be fixed in DP5 with the plan to have the fifth preview be the final build – assuming no bugs are found.
My suggestions to readers is to wait until DP4 or DP5 to join the beta program if you want to run Android P on your daily driver. It should be pretty much bug free at that point.