The traditional way for developers (or really anyone) to get the pre-release versions of Android on devices is by installing factory images as they become available. With Google’s Android N, the Android N Developer Preview can be installed in two ways. The first is that usual factory image route because Google already posted them for the most recent Nexus devices. However, the new option is to enroll in the Android Beta Program for seamless over-the-air updates to move along to the latest beta versions of Android N.
Here’s how Google explains the Android Beta Program:
Devices that you opt into the program will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update to the latest beta version of Android N. The updates that you’ll receive as a part of this program are unstable pre-release versions, and may contain errors and defects that affect your device. You may opt-out of the program at any time to return to the stable, public version of Android. Note: If you opt-out when your device is running a beta version of Android, all user data on the device will be wiped.
On the dedicated Android Beta Program page, Google lists eligible devices for you to join with. After that, a lovely waiver appears.
The waiver is to get the point across that the Android Beta Program is intended, at least at the moment, for developers and even they should be using secondary devices. The Android N Developer Preview could affect device performance, and Google doesn’t have an official support service operating. Anyone who needs help will be redirected to “the discussion group” where “a fellow community member may assist you.”
This summer, the Android Beta Program will open to the public. And anyone who is enrolled can always revert back to the latest stable public version of Android. Google will switch everyone over to the first stable public version of Android N when it becomes available later this year.
We’ll be hearing more about Android N in the coming weeks and months, especially as we near Google I/O 2016 in May.
Source: Android Beta Program