Google on Wednesday launched its fifth and final experimental version of Android P, having debuted it in the form of the fourth beta build of the upcoming major iteration of the world's most popular operating system. Following the alpha Developer Preview released in early March and four subsequent beta versions, Alphabet's subsidiary is now almost ready to launch Android P on the stable channel, with its Pixel and select Nexus devices being the first in line to receive it, together with all handsets launched as part of the Android One program. Devices that don't run a stock, vanilla version of the OS will likely start receiving the upgrade in the final quarter of the year, depending on how quick their manufacturers are at optimizing the new OS for their products. Google's previously disclosed Android P roadmap labels the stable release of the next-generation software as a third-quarter event, with the OS being likely to debut next month given the timing of the release of its final beta build.
As expected, the final Developer Preview of Android P doesn't debut any major features and is instead meant to deliver finalized system behaviors so that developers can conclude their optimization efforts. The full list of new functionalities that Android P introduces has already been published by Google in late winter along with the launch of the initial build of the latest OS iteration. With finalized system behaviors released today and level-28 APIs that have been available since the second beta version of the OS, app developers now have everything they need to prepare their software for the incoming firmware upgrade.
The latest Android P build is still likely to feature some bug fixed and performance improvements, as is usually the case with Google's software updates, experimental or not. While the company's Pixel 3 flagship series is expected to run Android P out of the box, it isn't likely to be announced before early October, meaning there's a chance that some other device takes the title of the first smartphone to launch with Android P in the meantime.