It's been known for a while that Google was opening up their Android N preview to OEMs, but we didn't think any manufacturers would actually take advantage. Well, we were wrong. Sony had just announced that Xperia Z3 owners will be able to install and run the N preview build. This is the first time a major manufacturer has offered Android previews on their phones.
The preview build is only available for Xperia Z3's international models (D6603 and D6653), so those of you with T-Mobile's US variant (D6616) are out of luck for now (we'd expect a port for this variant fairly soon, though).
Until now, you've only been able to flash Android N to one of Google's Nexus phones, so maybe this will lead the way for other OEMs to allow developers and users to try Android builds on their devices.
And who knows? Maybe more Android users in the United States will decide to pay up front for an unlocked handset in order to work around American carriers and their draconian views on software support.
If you have a compatible model, here's how to get Android N.
- Connect your Xperia to your computer via USB, which will open Xperia Companion (version 1.1.24 or higher—you can download here).
- Hold down the ALT key and click "Software repair," then follow the directions.
- Lastly, you'll need to disconnect your device and power down, then reconnect it and power back on while holding the Volume Down button. This will begin the software flashing.
Sony has more detailed installation instructions if you need help.