With the release of the first Developer Preview of Android O, the question most people want to know the answer for is when it will be available for the masses? According to Google, that will be Q3 of 2017. Google, much like they did with Android Nougat, is being very transparent about their timelines and have published it in the O Program Overview. Basically it will breakdown like this:
- Preview 1 which is the initial release and considered alpha (do not install it on your daily driver!)
- Preview 2 will be an incremental update and the first beta of Android O
- Preview 3 will bring us the final APIs and the official SDK. At this point, developers will be able to published their Android O compatible apps
- Preview 4 will be the near-final image for final testing
- Final Release will be the AOSP build and ecosystem release. This is when the public will get it and OEMs will get it to start prepping their devices images.
This pattern follows much of what Google did with Android Nougat so there aren’t a lot of surprises here to be found.
As for timing, Google is being transparent about that too. Preview 2 should be here around the mid-May timeframe, just in time for Google I/O. Preview 3 will be in mid-June with Preview 4
following up in mid-July. That means sometime between August-October 2017 we will see the final release. When exactly in that 3 month window we will see it is unknown and largely depends on any last minute bug fixes that need to happen and likely the timing of the next generation of Pixel phones.