At the beginning of the month, HTML code suggested that the Android N Developer Preview would make its way to non-Nexus devices. Working with Google, today Sony is the first OEM to follow through with a developer preview of Android N for the Xperia Z3.
More specifically, owners of the D6603 and D6653 variant of the Xperia Z3 are first to be able to flash the preview. Sony frames the software as a way for developers “to test [their] apps with new system behaviors for saving power and memory. Extend [their] apps with new features such as multi-window UI, direct reply notifications and more.” Like Google, they caution the developer preview is not intended for usage as primary software.
While Sony isn’t the fastest at upgrading their devices, they often test concept software of the latest version of Android. Last year, 10,000 Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact owners were able to test Marshmallow concept software months before the final release just last month. It likely helps that Sony’s software is quite similar to stock Android and has few customizations.
Unlike with the Android Beta Program that delivers the preview as an OTA, Sony owners will need to flash the preview with the Xperia Companion app available for Mac and Windows. The downside of flashing means all data will be wiped, with a factory reset required to go back to a stable version of Android. Full instructions are available at the bottom of the developer page with Sony providing milestone updates as they get released throughout the preview.