This guide explains how to easily install the just announced Android P Developer Preview on your Pixel or Pixel 2. While the official release of Google’s new Android P software won’t arrive until August or September, you can try it early. There’s no beta program, so manually installing the software is the only way developers can try it today.
Android P comes with some exciting new changes that will affect your phone or your apps. Before we begin, it’s worth noting that Google’s calling this an “alpha 1 release” so it’s not stable enough for daily use. Eligible devices include the Pixel, Pixel XL, or Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Google didn’t release software for any Nexus devices.
The Android P System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android P on your Pixel device. This is the only way to get it until Google adds Android P to the beta program. We’re expecting that in May or June. Until then, this is essentially everything you need to know, and what you’d download as an OTA update for regular Android updates.
One of the biggest changes in Android P is display cutout support. Basically, Google supporting the iPhone X-style notch we’re seeing in a lot of Android devices. There are also major changes to Google Assistant, notifications, smarter message notifications, battery life, easier software updates, and improved security. Even at the app level security is more robust. We don’t know too much yet but expect more features to debut throughout the year and at Google I/O.
Before we start it’s worth noting that this is not official software that average users should install to their daily devices. This is an extremely early developer preview (beta) of Android P for testing purposes only. It’s not fully stable or functional according to Google. We’ve already installed it ourselves and it’s working great, but proceed with caution.
This guide will show you how to install the latest Pixel Android P Developer Preview software. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS. There are multiple ways to do this, and lots of things that can go wrong, but below are the easiest steps without spending hours setting up all of Google’s developer software.
How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS
Before you can flash the Android P Developer Preview update to your Pixel or Pixel 2 you need to install ADB and Fastboot on your computer. This is a program that runs on your PC/Mac to connect to your Android device through a USB cable and flash Android software to a device.
Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most annoying parts of installing Android factory images, but several tools make it dead simple these days. Alternatively, Google has an entire guide on ADB and flashing the files.
Those running Windows can download a 15 second adb installer to simplify the process and get up and running in only a few minutes.
Download the ADB installer for Windows. Find the file, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted you need to give the app access to run as an administrator. After the app launches type a Y and enter to select yes to Install ADB & Fastboot, to install ADB/Fastboot systemwide and to install Drivers. When a new window pops up follow the steps to install the drivers.
After this, you are now ready to install Android P on supported devices.
How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS
Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. Simply open a Terminal on the computer and paste in the code from XDA. Open a terminal by going to search, and just type Terminal to open it. Then copy/paste that code to get started.
This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else. It’s extremely easy and avoids all the ADB package mess that typically takes much longer to complete.
After the script finishes type ADB or Fastboot to start running either process. This is how you start flashing files or system images provided by Google. Remember to head to settings > developer options and enable USB Debugging first. Not to mention newer devices need to enable “OEM Unlock” in developer options so you can unlock the bootloader and flash the latest software. If you did this when you flashed Android O last year, you don’t need to do it again.
Manually Install Android P Today
The first thing you need to do is download the Android P System Factory Images. This isn’t in the typical location, but we have the links for you below. You’ll have to agree to Google’s terms to continue, then click the links below to download the files for each device. Make sure you download the right file for your device.
As usual, only select devices are included in this list right now. Those being the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. We’re not seeing any other older devices. Click the links below to download Android P and get started today.
- Google Pixel Android P Image
- Pixel XL Android P Image
- Google Pixel 2 Android P Image
- Pixel 2 XL Android P Image
Download the file and then keep reading to get Android P. Now, you need to unzip these files to a folder you can easily access. We unzipped it to our MAC desktop. After you have the Android P system image unzipped you need to find it. Then type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open a terminal and direct it to this new folder on Mac, Linux or Chrome OS. Reminder, if you’re on a MAC you need to make sure terminal is running inside the folder you just unzipped. Right-click, open Terminal at Folder.
If your Pixel is not bootloader unlocked you should do that first. We could not install Android P on a locked device. This will wipe it out completely and erase all user data, settings, pictures, etc. Repeat, this will erase everything! If you installed any prior betas, you already did this, so skip it.
Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type the command below then hit enter.