Android P Developer Preview 4 Now Available for the Pixel and Pixel 2
The fourth iteration of the Android P developer preview is finally here. We expected to see it a little earlier, but the timing is ok, considering Google rolled out the security patch for the month today. Like all previous releases, it is available only for the Pixel and Pixel 2. Other OEMs should follow suit shortly. Here is the list of known issues that the release has:
- Users who depend on Accessibility Services—such as Talkback and Switch Access— may have challenges using this Android beta build, particularly the new system navigation, Overview, and the Launcher.
Performance and battery
- Battery life may be regressed in this release for screen-on and screen-off use cases.
- Window manager: system_server crash after tapping on lockscreen notification.
- System navigation still experiences some jank and frozen states on Pixel devices.
- Secondary user's lock screen displays blank space between status bar icons when enabled battery percentage in owner.
- Device setup may be delayed in some cases and display the "Just a sec..." screen for several minutes.
- Google hotword settings may turn off after enabling in Setup Wizard.
- Setup Wizard may show black screen momentarily after adding finishing touches.
- Playback over Bluetooth may be unstable in some cases.
- Calls may drop after hold/unhold operation.
- Device cannot be factory reset. Workaround is to remove all Google accounts from the device first.
- If Google app is not set up, tapping Ambient music from Always-On Display does not unlock screen, and Google crashes.
- Now Playing feature unavailable for secondary user.
- Do-Not-Disturb Driving automatic rules option not available for secondary
The factory images need to be sideloaded on to a device with an unlocked bootloader. You can find out more about how to go about it here. If you're already a part of the beta program, you should receive an OTA that bumps the device up to the latest version. We wouldn't recommend using it as a daily driver as the software is still in beta and several apps might not function as intended. It is called the developer preview for a reason, after all. The download links and additional information about the release can be found here.
The Android P roadmap (pictured above) shows us that we're not far from a final release and can expect to see it sometime in the next few weeks, after the fifth and final version is rolled out.
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