Just a day after releasing the Android Marshmallow update for the Xperia Z3, Sony has announced that owners of select models of the phone can download and test the Android N Technical Preview on their devices now, months ahead of its official release. The news means that Google has expanded the boarders of the Android N preview far wider than any other previous beta of the Operating System and Sony could well be the first of many manufactures who open up a similar program.
For Xperia Z3 owners who have models D6603 and D6653, Sony has setup a page for you to get information and how to download N to your devices. The install process is not as clean as the
Android Beta program enjoyed by Nexus device owners and requires that you download a separate app to your Windows device in order to make the install happen. One other important note is that Sony does not make it clear as to if you can go back to Marshmallow if the beta doesn’t work out well for you. Given that you are going through a software repair process to do the install, it is likely but that is not confirmed.
Will other manufactures like HTC, LG or Samsung follow suit and offer a beta for N? There is no indication of that yet but frankly, there was no indication that Sony was going to do it either. It could be a matter of time and if they do release the beta, it would be great news as it would mean that N will see a wider range of devices prior to its release which should, in theory, translate to a more robust and stable final release sometime in July.
I’ll make the same warning to Xperiz Z3 owners as I made to Nexus owners: This is beta software and you will undoubtedly run into bugs and issues. It is highly recommended not to install the beta onto your primary device to prevent potential app issues, communication issues or a loss of data.