Many Android enthusiasts will want to install the Android N Developer Preview right away, disregarding Google’s advice that it is “not suitable for daily use on phone or tablet.” Non-developers should keep in mind, though, that Preview 1 is an alpha and has various stability and performance issues…

It doesn’t help that the upcoming Android Beta Program makes installing the developer preview as simple as any other OTA system update, but users should first glance at the release notes for Developer Preview 1. Most notably, prolonged use will slow down performance and responsiveness, an issue that currently plagues the Nexus 5X. Additionally, battery life might drop even if a device’s screen is off.

Many apps might not function normally, including Google’s. In the Dialer app, voicemail playback reportedly does not work, nor does archiving emails from a Gmail notification. More importantly, Android Pay may not work as this early build is not Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) approved.

Some of the system UI is not fully translated to other languages and will probably change between now and the final version. Marquee features like the new quick settings toggles are slow or appear to be unresponsive. Video playback may lag and show interruptions.

There are issues with pairing a Bluetooth keyboard that might particularly effect the Pixel C’s keyboard accessory. Non-Google apps will have particular trouble with split-screen mode and those issues must be fixed by the app’s developer.  Those who use Android for Work would be best to stay away from this build due to another host of issues.

In general, it’s just worth pointing out that installing the first developer preview might not be the best idea. We’ve already installed it on our devices so that you can learn everything there is to know without needing to use a buggy phone. Those who are overeager might be best to wait 4-6 weeks for Preview 2, which will be considered a beta, and Google says there will be five previews in total before the final release this summer — there’s plenty of time to try out a more stable build.

Here’s the full list of general advisories, and you can read the platform issues over at Google’s website:

General advisories

This Developer Preview release is for app developers only and is designed for use in compatibility testing and early development only. Please be aware of these general notes about the release:

  • This release has various stability and performance issues on all devices that make it not suitable for daily use on phone or tablet, especially for non-developers.
  • Performance and responsiveness are known to be slow in some areas and may become slower over prolonged use.
  • Battery life may be regressed in this release for screen-on and screen-off use cases.
  • Some apps may not function normally on Developer Preview 1. This includes Google’s apps as well as other apps.
  • This early build is not Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) approved. Apps that depend on CTS approved builds (Android Pay for example) won’t work.
  • This preview release supports the following devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Pixel C.

 

About the Author