Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus confirmed its upcoming OnePlus 6 flagship will be eligible to participate in the Android P open beta over a week before the handset itself is set to be officially announced. The company is one of seven phone vendors that are supporting Google’s Android P development, having already started optimizing the next major operating system upgrade for their devices even though the software still won’t be hitting the stable channel for months. While beta versions of previous Android builds were only available for Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices, Android P’s development appears to be much more open, possibly signaling that certain original equipment manufacturers are planning on issuing timelier OS updates for select models moving forward.
OnePlus is describing its decision to embrace the Android P beta program as an extension of its established mobile software strategy, claiming it’s one of the fastest OEMs in the world when it comes to delivering firmware upgrades for its smartphones. The company’s track record with updates is indeed above-average in terms of speed of delivery but not perfect in the context of support length, most notably due to the OnePlus 2 controversy stemming from the fact the 2015 device never made its promised jump to Android 7.0 Nougat. The upcoming OnePlus 6 is expected to run a new OxygenOS implementation based on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. The fact that the Android P beta will become available for the handset immediately after its launch indicates the stable version of the OS is likely to hit the phablet shortly after it enters the stable channel in the third quarter of the year.
The second developer preview of Android P launched yesterday and three more experimental builds are expected to follow by August, according to Google’s previously disclosed OS upgrade roadmap. The final preview version of the software is likely to be released mere days before Android P hits the stable channel, whereas the third one scheduled to debut next month will already come with finalized APIs and system behaviors so that developers can already begin their final Android P optimizations. The OnePlus 6 will be officially announced next Wednesday, May 16.