Update: While it wasn’t appearing at first, it seems that the Nexus Player is now being listed as a compatible device with the program. Additionally, the General Mobile 4G (Android One) device is now compatible as well.
Google has now — as promised — just launched the Android Beta Program. With this program (much like similar programs from Apple), you can enroll your device to receive the latest beta builds of Android and receive them over-the-air without the need to do any manual flashing. Head over to the Android Beta Program website to sign up…
When you first head to the website, you’ll be asked to sign in with your Google account. From there, you’ll find a list of Nexus devices that have been signed into with your account, and you’re just a click away from enrolling. It goes without saying that you probably shouldn’t enroll your daily driver in the program, as there are hoards of documented nasty bugs that will probably ruin the experience anyway.
Here’s the full disclaimer that Google offers before you enroll your device:
The Android Beta Program gives developers an opportunity to try out pre-release versions of Android. The program is currently targeted towards developers and is not suitable for use on your primary device (see known issues).
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 remain in the Android Beta Program beyond the N release to preview future Android N maintenance releases (MRs). If you choose to do so, you will automatically get an OTA update to pre-release versions of the MRs as they become available. At the end of the program, you will begin to receive regular public updates.
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.
Once you’ve enrolled your device in the program, you should receive an OTA update very soon (in our experience, instantly), which will keep all of your data intact while updating your device to the most recent build of Android N. Later, your device will stay updated as future versions of the N preview are released. Google says that at the end of the program you will receive update to standard non-beta builds.
If you would rather go the way of completely restoring your device to factory settings and flashing it yourself, you can do so by following our handy guide. Factory images will almost surely hit the web before they roll out OTA to devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program, so keep that in mind if — like us — you need timely access to new features.