It’s time for Android O to start wrapping up. This means that Google is finishing the final touches and optimizing what code they’ve written. For Android developers, the now launched third preview for the upcoming release provides some certainties which will allow them to look closely at Android O for finished apps.
This third preview confirms that the version number is 8.0, following the guidelines of semantic versioning. This preview is providing the final changes for API level 26. This means that developers will be able to use the new features of Android O without worrying about it breaking, whereas the APIs may have changed since the first preview. Apps will now be able to target 26 in their manifests and publish these changes to Google Play, allowing the few beta devices to take advantage of them.
The update should be rolling out to devices enrolled in the beta program, including the Nexus Player. System images are also available. For those using the emulator in Android Studio, you can now update all of your tools (including Android Studio 3 to take advantage of Kotlin) in order to target the upcoming change.
Following last year, we should see Android O be finally released sometime by the end of the summer. However, Google will likely have some more tricks up their sleeve as they unveil the latest Pixel devices (which they’ll hypothetically launch), for a potential fall release.