Android 8.1 O Developer Preview And Android Studio 3 With Kotlin Support Released: Download Here

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
  • 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.

Google reveals Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google officially unveiled the next generation of its Pixel phones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The devices are built on the capabilities of Google Assistant, continuing Google’s shift “from mobile-first to AI-first” in computing, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren’t much of a departure from the original Pixel phones in terms of design. The standard Pixel 2 features a 5″ screen with an OLED display, while the Pixel 2 XL sports a massive 6″ P-OLED screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a curved screen.

The phones have an all-aluminum body, with the smaller glass plate on the back. The fingerprint scanner remains in the same spot on the middle of the back of the phone.

The standard Pixel 2 is available in three colors: Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White. The Pixel 2 XL, however, is only available in Just Black and a separate Black and White colorway.

pixelhome.jpg

 

Google’s search box will now be at the bottom of the screen and will remain static while the user moves between home screens. A new feature called Active Edge will allow users to access Google Assistant by simply squeezing the sides of the phone. It will work with a case, and machine learning will be able to identify an “intentional squeeze.”

Google is continuing the trend of including premium camera technology in the Pixel line with the Pixel 2. The 12.2 MP camera, which achieved a DxOMark score of 98, is tuned for AR content and can read it in 60fps. The camera will also include a portrait mode, similar to what Apple introduced with its iPhone 7 Plus. This feature could be especially helpful for marketing professionals and social media pros who need to capture the best images for their content.

 

Even in the face of the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5, LG G6, and HTC U11, the Google Pixel is still one of the best Android smartphones out there, even for those headed back to school in a month or two.

It looks like Verizon agrees, seeing how Big Red launched its Back to School promotion that gets you Google’s phone on the cheap-ish.

Starting July 27, you can get the Pixel for $5 per month on Verizon’s device payment plan if you trade in an eligible phone. Even with the up to $420 device payment purchase that you must make, this makes the Pixel a great choice for those looking to save some coin.

For your trade-in to be eligible, it must be in good working and cosmetic condition and you must trade it in when you purchase the Pixel.

If your eyes are instead on either the Galaxy S8 or G6, you can trade in your smartphone and knock $300 off either phone’s full retail price. Keep in mind that you must either switch from another carrier and set up a new line or add a new line to an existing Verizon account and pay for the phone with a device payment plan. These two promotions also start July 27

If you are not on the lookout for a new smartphone, Verizon also has deals on some of its accessories. First up is the GizmoGadget, a wearable that lets parents keep tabs on their children’s whereabouts.

Purchasing the wearable will net you a $25 gift card for either Gap, Toys R’Us, or Staples, though the gift card amount goes up to $75 if you also purchase the GizmoTab.

Elsewhere, the Fitbit Alta HR and Under Armor Protect Grip case for the Galaxy S8 will go for $130 and $40, respectively, while the Mophie Powerstation Plus 6000 portable battery will sell for $70. Finally, the JBL Clip 2 portable Bluetooth speaker will be discounted to $50.

As with the smartphone promotions, most of the accessory discounts will start on July 27. You will have to wait until August 1 to get the deals for the latter two accessories.