Google just unleashed the Android P Developer Preview and its a tempting update for Pixel and Pixel 2 users. While there are certainly some exciting changes or new features, there are also reasons to avoid trying the Android 9.0 P preview on the Google Pixel.
The latest official software for Pixel phones is Android 8.1 Oreo. However, in an effort to test and improve what’s coming next, Google is ready to let users try Android P. This is the first developer preview, and it’s not even available in the beta program yet.
For Android P, Google’s only giving access to those with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL. Meaning you can’t try it on any Nexus devices. With that all said, we’ll be sharing details on the Pixel and Pixel 2 update and if it’s worth installing. If you’re considering trying the Android P preview read on for some of the benefits and downsides.
While Android 8.1 Oreo and even the original Android 8.0 release were mainly small maintenance releases, P is a lot more. We’re seeing major changes to the look and feel of the notification bar, quick settings, the entire settings menu, and other areas. That’s in addition to tons of behind the scenes changes Google will unveil in the coming weeks and months.
This is the next big update for your Android smartphone or tablet. So far we’re calling it Android P, but it’ll likely arrive as Android 9.0 P-named dessert in August or September.
Before you instantly jump at the chance to download Android P for your Pixel, keep in mind that this is still very early software. It’s the first preview, and so early that Google’s calling it “alpha 1”. That means things are likely broken, features missing, and it’s incomplete. It’s a developer preview, for developers, and not for your daily device.
Today though, Android P is still pretty promising. You’ll like the new look of notifications, and all the smart controls and in-line replies or images. You can see images and stickers inside of the notification bar from messaging apps, along with the instant smart reply. There are even more dynamic icons, improved auto-fill, and this is just the beginning. There’s a new built-in editing tool, screenshot button in the volume controls, and a much different look to the app shortcuts in the notification shade.
If you dare, you’ll enjoy some of these new changes and controls on your Pixel or Pixel 2. Not to mention potential fixes for a wide array of Pixel problems. Considering this is an early developer preview and new software, it is not the most stable version of Android available. In fact, Google themselves warned users about bugs and states it is not ready for daily use.
Installing the Android P developer preview has its benefits but there are also downsides to using early software and we want to discuss those here. It’s not even available in the beta program yet, so that should give you an idea of what to expect. This list of reasons should help you decide if it is worth trying the Google Pixel Android P update today.