Google is increasingly transparent about its software releases.
With the Developer Preview program, we get a super early look at what Google’s working on in Android O — the only downside is it takes several months then to get all of the information. With the release of Android O Developer Preview 1 we don’t have a complete look at all of Android O’s new features, but we do have a timeline for when updates to the Dev Preview program will land.
As you can see, we’re looking at a considerable wait before our second release — the timeline pegs it for mid-May, conveniently coinciding with Google I/O 2017 where we expect to learn more about the core features of the OS rather than just heavily developer-focused changes. This would be a good bet for when the Android Beta Program could get on board, depending on how stable the release is.
The first big update to Android O will land in mid-May, likely at Google I/O.
We then have to wait about a month for a third Developer Preview release in mid-June, which coincides with Google finalizing the new APIs in Android O so developers can lock in changes to their apps to make sure they’re ready for the final release. We’ll get a quick tune-up Developer Preview 4 sometime about a month later, and then the waiting game starts for the final full announcement in Q3 2017 — likely coinciding with a Pixel 2 launch.
So that means we all have a nice long road ahead of speculation and playing with far-from-finished software on our Pixels and Nexuses. And if you want to get into the future a little but don’t have an extra device to sacrifice for the cause, consider waiting until we get to at least Developer Preview 2 — you’ll be glad you waited.