The next major build for Android will be Android Q and it is largely expected that the update should be released in 2019. Also given that Google tends to release previews ahead of the release, we expect that this should remain the same as well. However it now seems that Android Q’s preview could potentially be released much earlier.
This was teased during the recent Android Dev Summit where according to Hung-ying Tyan from Google’s Project Treble team, he gave a talk about Generic System Images which is basically Android in its purest form based on AOSP code that allows for the testing of Android compatibility.
According to Tyan, “We are also exploring ways to make future GSI available earlier than the release of next Android version. So you will be able to try out next Android version earlier over GSI. And at the same time we can also get early feedback from you, so the benefit is mutual.” Given that Project Treble is all about trying to reduce Android fragmentation by getting Android updates out as quickly and painlessly as possible, his comments don’t really come as a surprise.
So what does an even-earlier release of Android Q’s preview mean for users? For the enthusiast, this is a good way to test the new features that Google could be looking to introduce in the update. It will also allow developers to test their apps much earlier which could go a long way in reducing incompatibility issues and bugs ahead of a release, plus all the extra time will help Google tune the update even further.
When exactly will Android Q’s preview be released? That still remains to be seen, but given that Android Pie’s preview was released in March earlier this year, there’s still time for Google to potentially release Android Q before then.