Google dev hints Android Q previews could come to more users, sooner

  • A Google developer has hinted that early Android Q builds may reach more users next year thanks to prospective Generic System Image (GSI) developments.
  • The moves could allow any Project Treble-supported device, not just select handsets, to run previews ahead of the software’s full launch.
  • The developer said there may be a way to test Android Q without physically flashing the GSI in future, too.

A Google engineer has hinted that Android Q previews may be available on more devices than ever before ahead of its full-scale release in 2019. The engineer, Hung-ying Tyan of Google’s Project Treble team, made the comments during Android developer summit last week (via XDA Developers).

Hung-ying was holding a talk on Generic System Images (GSIs). A GSI is a pure version of Android based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code used to test compatibility on Android smartphones. In order to benefit from quick updates via Project Treble, for example, a hardware manufacturer must be able to boot a GSI and ensure it works correctly on their device.

Editor’s Pick

This is a key part of Project Treble, but it seems Google wants to diversify GSI use cases. Hung-ying said the team is “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.” This, according to Hung-ying, would be mutually beneficial, seeing as more users would get access to the software the team could receive earlier feedback.

What’s more, Hung-ying said that there might be a way to test out GSI, without flashing it, in the future — something which can be a tricky process.

What this would mean for Android fans is that more people could gain access to the early version of Android Q (the upcoming version of Android), sooner. With the Android P Developer Preview, Google allowed Pixel users (and later some other Android device owners) to test the software from March last year ahead of its full release in August. The implication of GSI becoming available earlier is that any Project Treble-equipped phone would be able to install the next Developer Previews — opening them up to many more users.

This is just a possibility for now, but Hung-ying said we should stay tuned for more information in the future. It seems like it could happen.

Samsung talking Android Pie beta this week, may launch same day

Samsung Galaxy S9 Sunrise Gold (3 of 9)

  • Samsung has confirmed it will reveal its Android Pie beta software at its developer conference this week.
  • The company is likely to launch the beta program for Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus users shortly after.

Samsung has added the Android Pie beta program to its list of talking points at this week’s Samsung Developer Conference 2018 event. The new event on the calendar, spotted by SamMobile in the conference app, suggests the company may also launch the beta in the coming days.

Editor’s Pick

Samsung said those attending the event would be able to “explore the new Galaxy UX” through the beta, but little else was mentioned about it. If the software is usable or presentable at the show, presumably it’s in a decent shape. We had expected Samsung to launch the beta sometime soon, so it seems likely it will use the event as a platform to do so.

The beta will likely be available for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, giving select users a chance to test the new software before its official rollout (probably sometime in the new year). In the U.S., this may only apply to Snapdragon models with specific carriers.

Samsung Developers conference app screenshot. Sam Mobile

We don’t know exactly what the new software (Samsung Experience 10) will deliver in terms of features, but we have encountered some leaked screenshots which have offered some clues as to the design changes (like an abundance of headers and bubbles).

Meanwhile, Samsung has also said it will show off how its upcoming folding phone works at the conference.

The Samsung Developer Conference 2018 begins tomorrow and runs until this Thursday. We’ll be bringing you all the announcements as they happen.