Google last week transitioned the Android Beta community from Google+ to Reddit in likely preparation for Android Q. In recent weeks, signs have picked up, with the latest being Google opening the Android Q bug tracker, while the company last week discussed that more OEMs are joining the Beta Program.
Mishaal Rahman of XDA this evening spotted how the “Android Q Beta” bug tracker is already open and accepting reports about issues associated with testing software before a public release.
Heading to developer.android.com/preview/bug successfully loads a form where users can enter their issue. [Click the Component dropdown and select the second “OEM” item.] The form and template isquite generic, and even features a build number from the last Android P beta in 2018.
What’s particular notable, however, is that the issue tracker already refers to the upcoming program as “Android Q Beta.” Last year, Google referred to it as the Android Developer Preview until Google I/O 2018 and DP2 (or Beta 1) was announced and regular users could easily install via OTA.
Meanwhile, last Friday, Iliyan Malchev from the Project Treble team shared (14:25) on the Android Developers Backstage podcast that “the number [of OEMs participating in the Beta Program] is bigger for the upcoming Android release. At I/O last year, Essential, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi joined the Google Pixel in offering a taste of Android P months before public availability.
The number of companies was notable, but did lack big players like Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Motorola. The Googler did not share this year’s number, but any of those four would be a “big” and meaningful get that reflects Project Treble’s success.
In recent years, the first Android Developer Previews are announced on Wednesday, but Rahman did note how there is a March 11th date tied to the bug tracker, suggesting a more imminent release.
Update: March 13th has emerged as a likely release date for Android Q. This is according to a Reddit post (via AP) that shows an alleged screenshot from an internal Google “developer calendar.” Wednesday — the typical day for releases — is marked off as “QT Beta 1 – OTA.” The reference to an OTA is interesting as the first release is usually limited to factory images. Taken in conjunction with another reference to “Beta 1” — vs DP1 — this year’s release could be different.