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Home / Features / Here’s how to install Android N on your Nexus phone or tablet

Here’s how to install Android N on your Nexus phone or tablet

Google throws open the doors for every Nexus owner - here's what to do

Want to get your first sweet, sweet taste of Android N, but weren’t brave enough to jump on the developer preview?

You’re in luck: Google released a much more stable beta version of the upcoming update earlier this week. Now you don’t have to worry about your phone rebooting at the worst possible momoent, wiping itself, or bursting into flames. OK, if you were worried about that last one maybe cutting edge smartphone tech just isn’t for you.

For the rest of us, it’s never been easier to give the latest edition of Android a spin. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get it up and running on your phone.

(and yes, we know Gogle hasn’t given it a name yet – but we’re firmly voting for Android Nutella!)

Enter the Nexus

Before you start looking for download links, make sure your phone will actually work with the Android N beta. Basically that means you need a Nexus. So far, Google is supporting the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X phones, Pixel C and Nexus 9 tablets, and the Nexus Player streaming box.

Older Nexus phones like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 are hard done by, as while Google hasn’t ruled out bringing Android N to them eventually, they aren’t included in the beta programme.

Right now, you’re out of luck if you’ve got a phone from pretty much any other manufacturer. HTC has at least said that the HTC 10, One M9 and One A9 will be getting the update eventually, but only once Google releases the final version. No early access here, sorry.

The only exception is Sony’s Xperia Z3. Problem is, the install process is a little more complicated. If you’ve got one (and you’re feeling brave) head to Sony’s website for instructions.

Ready, set, install

Installing new versions of Android manually is usually all manner of command line hell, but Google has made things a lot easier this time around.

You don’t even need to hook up your phone to a PC – now you can download preview builds over the air, and once the full version arrives, it’ll download automatically. Result.

Just head to Google’s website on your desktop or mobile browser, sign into your Google account and look for your phone from the list of Eligible Devices.

Click Enroll Device and agree to the T&Cs. Then all you have to do is search for a system update on your phone. It was less than a minute before it turned up on our Nexus 6P, but the download is over 1GB so could take a while.

Once it’s done, just follow the on-screen prompts and you’ll be running Android N in no time.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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