Google's developer preview software is and has always been meant for their lineup of Nexus devices, as a way for developers and enthusiasts who like to live on the bleeding edge to try some of the new changes coming to Android with the next version. Ever since the Android L developer preview twas pushed out to the public two years ago, only a handful of Nexus devices were compatible with the builds that Google made available. This has carried through with the Android N developer preview that Google began sending out to users over a month ago, but now Sony has taken it upon themselves to make the Android N developer preview available for the Xperia Z3.
This marks the first time that any non-Nexus device has had the opportunity to flash developer preview software, although it may not come as a shock to some since the Android N dev preview web page hinted at non-Nexus device support back at the beginning of the month. Today, Sony Xperia Z3 owners will be able to get their first taste of Android N, however, it is worth noting that it's only currently available for two models, the Xperia Z3 D6603 model, and the D6653 model.
For users with the compatible models to get started, they'll first need to make sure that they have the most recent and up to date version of the Xperia Companion software installed on their computer, which is version 1.1.24. If that software is already installed, then performing a backup of any important data that you want to keep is recommended as flashing the Android N developer preview software will wipe the data on your device. After the backup, Sony has a quick and rather simple set of steps for flashing the software all because of Xperia Companion which does the heavy lifting. After flashing the Android N developer preview to the Xperia Z3, users will experience improved Doze mode for even better battery life, bundled notifications, multi-window, and direct reply notifications. The Android N developer preview follows Sony's own push of the final build for Android Marshmallow, which just started hitting the Xperia Z3 and other models earlier this month.