But be warned: beta is beta.
Google just dropped the latest beta to its upcoming Android Q operating system at Google IO this week. It looks like Android Q is going to be packed with tons of new features and even more refinements. Earlier this year when announcing the first limited developer beta, Google said:
“As the mobile ecosystem evolves, Android is focused on helping users take advantage of the latest innovations, while making sure users’ security and privacy are always a top priority. Building on top of efforts like Google Play Protect and runtime permissions, Android Q brings a number of additional privacy and security features for users, as well as enhancements for foldables, new APIs for connectivity, new media codecs and camera capabilities, NNAPI extensions, Vulkan 1.1 support, faster app startup, and more.”
But that was only referencing the big improvements coming for the tech geeks–the devs who make your apps. The consumer-face Android Q features were revealed yesterday. Best among them includes an all-new system-wide Dark Mode and a Google Assistant that is 10x faster than the previous one.
Unfortunately, Android Q isn’t going to be available for consumers until much later in the year. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it on your device today. We’ll outline the steps on how to do so below.
Android Q Beta: A Word Of Warning
Though Google is making the Android Q beta available today, keep in mind that Android Q will not be a stable release until it ships to the public later this year. Running betas could severely affect your devices and your files—in other words, the software is a “beta” for a reason.
Betas are naturally full of bugs. That’s WHY they’re betas. The point of beta testing is to find the bugs and squash them. And betas can have some nasty bugs that can potentially cripple your Android phone. And manufacturers’ warranties generally do not cover beta software–even if you’re a legitimate developer.
That means if a beta bricks your Android, you could be out of luck. Time to buy a new one. So proceed down this road with extreme caution and only travel it if you are completely fine with something going disastrously wrong with your phone.
Android Q Beta: What Phone Do I Need?
The easiest way to get the Android Q beta is on a Google Pixel device and the good news is that Google is supporting Android Q Beta on every Pixel device they’ve ever made. Yep, that’s right: even the original Pixel smartphone can run Android Q beta 1. Here’s the full list of compatible devices right now:
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
But Google is also working with device manufacturers to make the Android Q beta available today on select handsets. Those handsets currently include:
- ASUS ZenFone 5Z
- Essential Phone
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- LGE G8
- Nokia 8.1
- OnePlus 6T
- OPPO Reno
- realme 3 Pro
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- TECNO SPARK 3 Pro
- Vivo X27
- Vivo NEX S
- Vivo NEX A
- Xiaomi Mi 9
- Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G
Android Q Beta: How Do I Get It?
If you’ve got a Pixel device, you’re ready to get the Android Q beta. The first thing you need to do is go to Android’s official beta website here: https://www.google.com/android/beta. Sign in with your Google account and then follow the steps to register your Pixel device for the beta program.
After the registration process is complete you’ll get access to the Android Q beta, which you can then install on your device. The good news is that after that you’ll be able to get Android Q beta updates over the air via Android’s software update.
You’ll keep getting Android Q beta updates on your Pixel as the development of the OS proceeds and you’ll be among the first to be able to get access to the Golden Master edition (the one that ships to consumers) when Google releases it later this year.
If you’ve got one of the third-party Android devices listed above, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s steps for installing the Android Q beta. First, go here to get a link to the manufacturer’s Android Q beta page. As Google notes: “Each partner provides a system image that you can download and flash, and/or an over-the-air (OTA) delivery where supported by the partner. Each partner provides support resources to guide you through the installation process — use the GET THE BETA link to jump to the partner’s download/OTA information.”