Today, Google announced the next major iteration of Android, and as usual, the company isn't telling us the name; instead, it's only known as Android O. The update will include picture-in-picture (PIP) support, adaptive icons, keyboard navigation, notification channels, and more.
Along with the announcement, a Developer Preview was made available in the form of factory images for supported devices, which are the same as those for Android 7.1.2 Nougat. It's not available for the Android Beta Program just yet, but luckily, Google has published a timeline for how this will progress.
Unlike the Nougat beta, which promised five Developer Preview builds before a final release, O will only have four. Today's release is an alpha build, and the second one won't arrive until May. Developer Preview 2 is listed as an incremental update, but it will also be considered beta quality.
If you're on the Android Beta Program, that's most likely the one that you'll see. After all, devices enrolled in the Program are still receiving Android 7.1.2 Nougat builds, the second build of which was released yesterday.
This will be followed by DP3 in June, which will offer final APIs, the official SDK, and Play publishing, which means that if you're building an app targeted at Android O, you'll be able to submit it to the Play Store. July will see the fourth and final Developer Preview build, which should be near-final system images.
Later in the third quarter of this year, Google will offer the final release. This means that supported Nexus and Pixel devices will get updated, and the company will release it to the Android Open-source Project (AOSP), and OEMs will be able to get started on building their skins around it.