It has already been a busy day when it comes to Android. In spite of a rumor developing this morning, Google took many by surprise by announcing that Android N is now available to download in its first developer preview form. This is meant as a 'work in progress' type of preview and as such is not recommended to be used on a daily basis. However, one of the added benefits of this earlier than usual release of the first developer preview, is that Google confirmed that the final release will likely get its release much earlier too. In fact, by this summer. Well following on from that point, we are now starting to get a clearer idea of what "this summer"means and what will be happening up until the final release.
In among the rest of the announcements that have come through from Google on Android N today, Google has also provided a nice timeframe of delivery. The image you can see above highlights that following July of this year, the final release of Android N will be available. Q3 is what the actual timeline specifically details as the delivery date and while that can be a little vague as it spans a three-month period, the already mentioned "this summer" quote would imply it will be the earlier part of Q3 and so August (September at a push) seems to be a good bet as to when it will arrive. Although, it is likely Google is playing it safe by stating Q3 in case there are any major bugs to be worked through.
In terms of before the final release does begin its availability, the timeframe does also point out that there will be a total of five developer previews en route in the meantime. Further details note that the Preview 2 and Preview 3 will both be beta previews which come with incremental updates. Preview 4 will come with final APIs as well as the official SDK, while Preview 5 will be a near-finished version of Android N and one which is ready for final testing. Of course, this will then be followed by the final release. An easier way to view it, is to expect each of the next previews to arrive on a month-by-month basis. Those interested in reading about the various releases in even further detail, can do so by heading through the source link below.