Google today released the first developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo for its Nexus and Pixel devices. The update brings about a new API level, some bug fixes to features originally introduced in Android 8.0, and other improvements.
Most of the changes being introduced in Android 8.1 might not be immediately visible to Nexus/Pixel owners but these changes will help Oreo provide a more stable and smoother experience on your device. So, what’s new in Android 8.1 Oreo you ask? Well, some of the user facing changes were exclusive to the Pixel 2 which Google is now bringing to its entire Pixel and Nexus lineup.
What’s New in Android 8.1 Oreo
- Android 8.1 further optimises Oreo for Android Go devices featuring 1GB or lesser RAM. The new build of Oreo contains hardware feature constants and memory optimisations for improved performance on low-end devices
- To speed up the machine learning process, Google is introducing Neural Networks API with Android 8.1
- The Autofill feature which first debuted with Android 8.0 has been enhanced and tweaked further in Android 8.1 to allow for more UI customisation
- A new Shared memory API will allow apps to “allocate shared memory for faster access to common data”
- Google has entirely removed the sRGB toggle from the hidden Developer Options in Android 8.1
- Under Android 8.1, apps will only be able to make one notification sound per second. Other requests are not saved by Google and will be lost
- An updated and more Oreo-y related easter egg
- The Settings app now uses a colored navigation bar which dims automatically after a few seconds of inactivity
- There are improvements to the Fingerprint API to show more error codes
- A new WallpaperColors API has been introduced with Android 8.1 Oreo
- A new Safe Browsing API to allow apps to detect when their WebView instance is being redirected to a URL marked unsafe by Google
- You can now also check the battery status of any Bluetooth device connected to your Nexus or Pixel. The feature was previously only limited to the Pixel 2
If you are a developer, you can find a list of all the underlying changes in Android 8.1 Oreo here.
Noticed any other changes in Android 8.1 Oreo that we have not mentioned above? Drop a comment and share them with us.