This post was originally published at Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon!

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

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As we put the finishing touches on the Android O platform, today we’re rolling
out Developer Preview 4 to help you make sure your apps are ready.

This is the final preview before we launch the official Android O platform to
consumers later
this summer
. Take this opportunity to wrap up your testing and publish your
updates soon, to give users a smooth transition to Android O.

If you have a device that’s enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you’ll receive an
update to Developer Preview 4 in the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled your
device yet, just visit the Android Beta
site
to enroll and get the update.

Watch for more information on the official Android O release soon!

What’s in this update?

Developer Preview 4 is a release candidate build of Android O that you can use
to complete your development and testing in time for the upcoming official
release. It includes the final system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and
optimizations, and the final APIs (API level 26) already available since Developer
Preview 3
.

We’re releasing the Developer Preview 4 device system images today, together
with the stable version of the Android 26.0.0 Support Library. Incremental
updates to the SDK, tools, and Android Emulator system images are on the way
over the next few days.

We’re also introducing a new version of Android Testing Support Library
that includes new features like Android Test Orchestrator, Multiprocess
Espresso, and more. Watch for details coming soon.

Test your apps on Android O

Today’s Developer Preview 4 system images give you an excellent way to test your
current apps on the near-final version of Android O. By testing now, you can
make sure your app offers the experience you want as users start to upgrade to
the official Android O platform.

Just enroll a supported device in the Android
Beta Program
to get today’s update over-the-air, install your current app
from Google Play, and test the user flows. The app should run and look great,
and should handle the Android O behavior
changes
properly — in particular, pay attention to background
location limits
, notification
channels
, and changes in networking,
security,
and identifiers.

Once you’ve resolved any issues, publish your app updates with the current
targeting level, so that they’re available as users start to receive Android O.

Enhance your apps with Android O features and APIs

Users running the latest versions of Android are typically among the most active
in terms of downloading apps, consuming content, and making purchases. They’re
also more vocal about support for the latest Android features in their favorite
apps. With Android O, users are anticipating features like notification
channels
and dots,
shortcut
pinning
, picture-in-picture,
autofill,
and others. These features could also help increase engagement with your app as
more users upgrade to Android O over time.

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With Android O your app can directly pin a specific app shortcut in the launcher
to drive engagement.
Notification dots keep users active in your app and let them jump directly the
app’s core functions.

Enhancing your apps with Android O features can help you drive engagement with
users, offer new interactions, give them more control and security, and improve
performance. Features like adaptive
icons
, downloadable
fonts
, and autosizing
TextView
can simplify your development and minimize your APK size. Battery
is also a top concern for users, so they’ll appreciate your app being optimized
for background
execution limits
and other important changes
in vital system behavior for O apps
.

Visit the O Developer
Preview site
to learn about all of the new features and APIs and how to
build them into your apps.

Speed your development with Android Studio

When you’re ready to build for Android O, we recommend updating to the latest
version of Android
Studio 3.0,
available for download from the canary
channel
. Aside from improved app performance
profiling tools
, support for the Kotlin
programming language
, and Gradle build optimizations, Android Studio 3.0
makes it easier to develop with Instant
Apps
, XML
Fonts
, Downloadable
Fonts
, and Adaptive
Icons
.

We also recommend updating to the stable version of the Android
Support Library 26.0.0
, available now from Google’s
Maven repository
, and to the latest SDK, tools, and emulator system images,
available over the next few days.

You can update your project’s compileSdkVersion to API 26 to compile against the
official Android O APIs. We also recommend updating your app’s targetSdkVersion
to API 26 to opt-in and test your app with Android O specific behavior
changes
. See the migration
guide
for details on how to setup your environment to build with Android O.

Publish your updates to Google Play

Google Play is open for apps compiled against or targeting API 26. When you’re
ready, you can publish your APK updates in your alpha, beta, or production
channels.

Make sure that your updated app runs well on Android O as well as older
versions. We recommend using Google
Play’s beta testing feature
to get early feedback from a small
group of users. Then do a staged rollout. We’re looking forward to seeing your
app updates!

How to get Developer Preview 4

It’s simple to get Developer Preview 4 if you haven’t already! Just visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible
phone or tablet. As always, you can also download and flash
this update manually
. The O Developer Preview is available for Pixel, Pixel
XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and the Android Emulator.
Enrolled devices will automatically update when we release the official version
of Android O.

Thanks for all of your input throughout the preview. Continue to share your feedback and
requests
, we love it!

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This post was originally published at Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon!