Contrary to what Google initially hinted, it has now released an updated images of the Android L developer preview for its two most recent Nexus devices. Although the primary purpose of these new images is the inclusion of the newly announced Google Fit SDK preview, they could very well also contain fixes to bugs and issues addressed since the release of the first images in June.
Google broke tradition when it pre-announced the existence of Android L months before its intended launch. It broke tradition even further when it released a preview image for developers to play with. Naturally, that version had a few bugs and issues that developers have bumped into and reported. A few weeks ago, Googler Rich Hyndman replied to a post on Google+ saying that there might be no updated developer image in the future as it was a one-time thing. That said, his tone was by no means definitive and, considering this is Google’s first time to do such releases, there was still some wiggle room left.
These new images are being released with the new Google Fit SDK preview in mind, though it could very well already include fixes committed to source code in the past weeks. If that is the case, it will be very welcome news for developers who want to make sure that their apps are truly L-ready, with no kinks and hidden surprises left. It isn’t yet known whether this build also includes the multi-user support mentioned in Google’s Android issue tracker.
These preview images are officially available only for the Nexus 5 and the WiFi-only version of the 2013 Nexus 7, though it probably won’t be long before some enterprising users make images available for other Nexus devices. Unforrtunately, the update doesn’t come as an OTA or even a simple flashable ZIP file. Users trying it out will have to go through the regular and rather destructive way of manually flashing the image, using the package’s included scripts, which means losing any data you might have stored on the device.