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Android M | Get Android M Preview on Nexus Devices and Set up the Preview SDK for the same

Yesterday, May 28, Google Launched its new Android version at Google I/O 2015. Alike last year, this year also Sundar Pichai kept the name of new Android version a 'secret'. Google will reveal it in the Q3 later this year. Till then developers could download and install Android M on their Nexus devices and develop new apps for the platform.

Android M Developer Preview

This post is divided into two sections: 

  1. Set up the Preview SDK for Android M Preview
  2. Download and Install Android M 
Lets get started then!!!

1. Set up the Preview SDK for Android M Preview

Android M Preview SDK is available through the Android SDK Manager. To get the latest version of Android M Preview SDK follow the steps given below.

  1. You will need to download latest version of Android Studio ( v1.3+) .
    • If you Don't have Android Studio pre-insatlled you can get it from this link: Android Studio
    • If you have Android Studio pre-installed, then follow these steps:
      • Make sure you are using Android Studio v1.3 or higher, if not, then update it.
      • v1.3 is in preview state, you will need to download it via Canary mode.
      • Go to  File--> Settings--> Appearance & Behavior--> System Settings--> Automatically check updates for --> Canary Channel.
  2. Now download the latest version of Android Studio via Canary Channel.
  3. Open Android Stdio.
  4. Click on the Android SDK Manager.
  5. Under Platform section, select Android MNC Preview.
  6. In Tools section, select the latest Android SDK Tools, Platform-Tools, Build-Tools.
  7. Click Install packages.
  8. Android SDK Manager will download selected packages for you. This process will take some time, you are free to do other stuff meanwhile!!!
Now as you have downloaded and installed Android Studio v1.3 (+) and Android SDK for Android M Preview, you are free to start experimenting on the Android M. 
Now if you want to preview it on your Nexus device, you should scroll down to get the exact procedure to download and flash Android M Preview on Nexus devices.

2. Download And Install Android M 

In this section I will show you how to Flash Android M Preview to your Nexus Devices.

As per Google's guidelines, Android M Preview is supported on Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player (for TV) as well as Emulator. Note, if you have a device other than the mentioned one here, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FLASH 'ANDROID M PREVIEW' AT ALL!!!


  1.  Download and Unpack appropriate System Image as per your device.To download System Image zip file, click on the link: Android M Preview System Image
  2. Connect your Device to computer over USB cable.
  3. Backup your data before proceeding. (If you don't backup, you might end up loosing precious data of yours.)
  4. Start device into fastboot mode.
    • Turn off your device, and then turn it ON. Now immediately press Vol Up + Vol Down + Power key at the same time.
    • You will enter into fastboot mode.
  5. If you haven't unlocked Bootloader yet, then follow this step otherwise you can skip it,
    • Use abd tool. You will find it at platform-tools/ directory in the Android SDK folder.
    • Make sure you have latest version of Android SDK Platform-Tools from SDK Manager.
    • open abd tool and run this command: fastboot oem unlock
    • The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)
  6. Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory on your computer.
  7. Execute flash-all script.
  8. This script will install necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and Operating System.
  9. Once this procedure is done, your device will restart.
Note: You can re-lock Bootloader for the security purpose, if you want to. To re-lock bootloader, execute fastboot oem lock script. This could wipe all data on few devices.

Once you upgrade your device to the Android M Preview, it will receive Over-the-Air (OTA) updates automatically.

Now you can run your new Android M Preview supported apps seamlessly!!! Enjoy coding!!!


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