Google today launched the fifth and final release of the Android 7.0 Nougat developer preview. You can start testing your apps against this release by downloading the new preview from developer.android.com/preview. The factory images should arrive shortly for the supported devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus 9 LTE, Nexus Player, General Mobile 4G, and Pixel C.
Google launched the first Android N developer preview in March, the second preview in April, the third preview in May, and the fourth preview in June. The previews have been coming like clockwork — one a month.
In past years, Google has unveiled the next Android version and released the accompanying developer preview at its I/O developer conference, but with this release, the company started much earlier. Android Nougat is currently slated for release later this summer.
While the fourth developer preview included the final APIs for Nougat, the fifth one gives developers the near-final system updates for all of the supported preview devices. Developers also get an emulator for doing the final testing of their apps and API level 24 with latest system behaviors and UI, as well as the latest bug fixes and optimizations across the system and in preinstalled apps.
Google is asking developers to make sure their app handles all of the system behavior changes in Nougat, including Doze on the Go, background optimizations, screen zoom, permissions changes, and so on. As for optional features to consider, the company lists multi-window support, Direct Reply and other notifications enhancements, Direct Boot, and new emojis.
As for actually rolling out your app, Google recommends publishing to alpha, beta, or production channels in the Google Play Developer Console and using Google Play’s beta testing feature. Start with a small group of users and then do a staged rollout for the rest of your users.