Sony has managed to strike a deal with the folks at Google to seed the recently unveiled Android N Preview to the Xperia Z3. The model will be the first non-Nexus device to receive the preview version as the only other non-Nexus device to receive the preview is the General Mobile 4G, a low-end Android One phone.
The Android N Preview is currently available for two variants of the Xperia Z3 – the D6603 and D6653. Owners of these models will need to install Sony's "Xperia Companion" app on a Windows or Mac computer and download the developer preview.
Sony beating other manufacturers to feature the Android N test version is not a complete surprise as last year prior to the release of Marshmallow the company had released a guide on creating and flashing a test image of AOSP Android M Preview that could be used for over 17 Xperia devices. Although it did not contain all the features of the OS like modem or camera, it had other upgrades like app permissions.
It's also not clear as to why Sony chose the Xperia Z3 as the model to seed the preview as developer previews are usually relegated to flagships. The Xperia Z3 is a flagship no doubt but from 2014. The company's latest flagship is the Xperia Z5 which at least for now has not been included in the developer preview. As for Google phones, the preview is available currently for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 and Pixel C.
Only those who are registered with Android's beta program will get to test the preview. The Android N Developer Preview brings split screen, a notification panel revamp, a hidden floating window mode, support for Vulkan and some Java 8 features.