As Google teased the roll out of Android 8.1 Oreo last week, the company has today released the Developer Preview of the OS update. The upgrade brings important improvements, and enables the Pixel Visual Core co-processor in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Google has reportedly pegged two developer previews for Android 8.1 Oreo. The first is already considered a beta with final APIs, while the second will be coming in November, which will be the near-final system images. A final release is slated for December.
For ones looking forward to the update, the Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview is available for download for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 2 XL. Google released both factory images and OTA files. You can download and flash the preview on your device, but you will have to enroll to beta program before that.
Android 8.1 Oreo: What’s new?
Other than the Pixel Visual Core features for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the Android 8.1 Oreo comes with a several new features in the update. For starters, there is a new Neural networks API for hardware accelerating on-device machine learning. ALSO READ: Samsung smartphones will receive Android Oreo update by early 2018: Report
Some changes have also been made to the notification behavior that limits apps to one notification alert sound per second. The update also adds support for managing wallpaper colors, as well as better performance for low-RAM devices when running Android apps. Android 8.1 introduces a new Shared Memory API, which allows a user to “create, map, and manage anonymous shared memory that can be used by multiple processes or apps.”
The Developer Preview adds support for custom descriptions that the Android System shows in the autofill save UI instead of the original representation of the data. This is useful, for example, when you want to mask a credit card number and show only the last four digits. ALSO READ: Google poked fun at Apple for ditching the 3.5mm audio jack last year, only to do it with Pixel 2
There is also change to the EditText method, a new video thumbnail extractor, and fingerprint updates that add new error codes.
Additionally, the Android 8.1 Oreo also brings some new developer features for Android Wear, with a new Ambient Mode class that lets apps remain “visible in low-power ambient mode for the duration of a session”. Specifically, Google has provided developers with a new method to do this. Meanwhile, there are several other updates relating to manifest metadata, action drawers, and more. ALSO READ: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL review roundup: A look at what reviewers say