Google has announced the first Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview (API Level 27) to give you a glimpse of what the next version of Android would offer. Earlier, it was speculated that Google might directly jump to Android P. But now we can expect Android 8.1 Oreo to release sometime in December 2017.
Android 8.1 gives more work to the Google-designed image processing chip called Pixel Visual Core found on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This custom chip uses machine learning to enhance the picture quality on Pixel devices and enables HDR+.
The new Android update would bring HDR+ capabilities to Android apps other than Google’s Camera app. But non-Google devices aren’t left behind in the machine learning advancements. The latest Android Oreo preview brings the Neural Networks API to enable hardware-accelerated machine learning on supported devices using frameworks like TensorFlow Lite.
Another major point of focus in the Android 8.1 update is improvements for low-power Android Go devices. These devices usually have less than 1 gigabyte of system memory; optimizations have been done to allow better app support on such devices running Android 8.1 Oreo.
Further, Google has made it easier for apps like password managers to take advantage of the Autofill framework which debuted with Android 8.0. Moreover, a new SharedMemory API allows you to create, map, and manage anonymous shared memory which multiple apps can access.
The release of the Android 8.1 Oreo preview is accompanied by Android Studio 3.0 which was first announced at Google I/O 2017. Studio 3.0 gives more room to Kotlin; the latest addition to the list of Android programming languages. You can download Android Studio 3.0 using this link.
Download Android 8.1 Oreo Preview
You can try Android 8.1 developer on your Nexus or Pixel devices by subscribing to the Android Beta Program. The list of supported devices includes:
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel C
- Nexus 5X,
- Nexus 6P
The preview will be delivered in the form of an OTA update. You can also try the Android 8.1 beta on the emulator.