Android Oreo

How to get Android 8.0 Oreo on your Pixel or Nexus right now

Google's Android 8.0 Oreo release is officially here — and if you have a Pixel or Nexus phone, you can force the update to arrive on your phone this very minute.

Android 8.0 Oreo Upgrade
JR Raphael

Android Oreo

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I don't know if you heard, but that solar eclipse wasn't the only significant event of the day. Today also marked the official unveiling of Google's Android 8.0 Oreo release — the software previously known only as "Android O" (oh, yes).

While Google's own Pixel and Nexus devices are almost always first in line for a fresh Android rollout, this year's dessert-themed delight isn't actually quite ready to be served to everyone just yet. Google says it's in the midst of "carrier testing" with the Pixel, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P Oreo builds and expects to start sending updates out to those devices soon.

(This, by the way, confirms what many of us have long suspected: Google is keeping the carrier-sold versions of the Pixel in line with the fully unlocked models by holding back its own rollouts until the carrier-approval-requiring rollouts are also ready. Mildly annoying as this may be, anyone who remembers the Verizon Galaxy Nexus fiasco of 2012 will understand the reasoning. And this time, Google seems determined to keep delays to a minimum.)

Realistically, the wait for Pixel and Nexus owners to get Oreo as an official over-the-air update likely won't be long. But we tech enthusiasts are a notoriously impatient bunch, and when something new is available, gosh darn it, we must have it.

Well, not to fear, my fellow shiny-new-software fanatics: If you own a Pixel, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, you can actually get Android 8.0 Oreo on your phone this very minute — with the help of a handy little hack.

Here's all you've gotta do:

1. Go to google.com/android/beta. Follow the prompts to sign in and then click the button to enroll your device in the Android Beta program.

2. Look at your phone. Within a matter of seconds, you should see a notification prompting you to download the full Android 8.0 Oreo update. Tap it and follow the instructions to start the download and install the update.

Android 8.0 Oreo Upgrade - Pixel, Nexus JR

Even if you weren't sure about putting beta software on your primary phone before, the risk now is basically nonexistent. You aren't actually getting the beta software; you're getting the full, final Android 8.0 Oreo release — which is simply being rolled out to Android Beta program members, ahead of anyone else, as we speak. All you're doing is skipping to the front of the line by sneaking your foot into the beta door at the very last second (and thus skipping over the actual beta software part of the process).

Once the Oreo upgrade has finished downloading and installing on your device, you can go back to that same Android Beta page if you want to unenroll from the Android Beta program. According to the program description, if you remain enrolled past the initial Oreo release, you'll continue to get future Android O maintenance releases ahead of everyone else. If you'd rather go back to the safety of stable software intended for the masses, you should be able to unenroll safely and easily once the full Oreo release is on your phone.

And that's all there is to it, gang. Welcome to Oreo. Enjoy being among the first to have a taste.

[Android 8.0, Oreo: The complete FAQ]

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