As Google teased during the unveil of the Pixel Visual Core, Android 8.1 will be released in the coming weeks for Pixel and Nexus devices. Google today launched the Android 8.1 Developer Preview, with images now available, as well as through the Android Beta Program.
Google has pegged two developer previews for Android 8.1. The first is already considered a beta with final APIs, while the second in November will be the near-final system images. A final release to AOSP and OEM ecosystem is slated for December.
Besides the Pixel Visual Core features for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, there are several new features in Android 8.1, which jump to API level 27. There is a new Neural networks API for hardware accelerating on-device machine learning.
Two new hardware-feature constraints will allow developers on Android 8.1 to better target their apps for low-RAM devices, while a Shared memory API will allow them to “create, map, and manage anonymous shared memory that can be used by multiple processes or apps.”
The last changes include an update to the Edit Text method, a new video thumbnail extractor, and fingerprint updates that add new error codes.
There are also 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.
Those already enrolled in the Android Beta Program should receive an update notification shortly on their compatible Pixel or Nexus device.
Factory images for build OPP5.170921.005 can be flashed immediately for those who don’t want to wait for the Beta OTA. If you need help, check out our guides on how to flash a factory image or sign-up for the Android Beta Program.