Google announces Android 8.1 Oreo; developer previews now available

Android 8.0 Oreo officially landed just two months ago, and today, we’re already getting a glimpse of the latest and greatest version of Google’s Android OS: Android 8.1.

Device Preview and OTA images are already available in developer preview form, though, you can also enroll your eligible device in the beta to receive an OTA update if you’d like. Google says the beta OTA will roll out beginning tomorrow.

As for which devices will get the update, they are as follows:

  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6P
  • Pixel C
  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL

Stay tuned as we’re compiling a changelog article of our own, but in the meantime, Google’s published a developer-oriented one:

  • Neural networks API: The Neural Networks API (NNAPI) provides apps with hardware acceleration for on-device machine learning operations. The API supports on- device model creation, compilation, and execution.
  • Notifications: Apps can now only make a notification alert sound once per second. Alert sounds that exceed this rate aren’t queued and are lost. This change doesn’t affect other aspects of notification behavior and notification messages still post as expected.
  • Improved targeting for low-RAM devices
  • Autofill framework updates: custom descriptions that the Android System shows in the autofill save UI, specify a Validator object that your app can use to decide if the Android System should show the autofill save UI, and more.
  • EditText updates
  • Programmatic Safe Browsing actions: Devs can control whether an app reports known threats to Safe Browsing, and have the app automatically perform a particular action—such as going back to safety—each time it encounters a URL that Safe Browsing classifies as a known threat.
  • Video thumbnail extractor: The MediaMetadataRetriever class has a new method, getScaledFrameAtTime(), that finds a frame near a given time position and returns a bitmap with the same aspect ratio as the source frame, but scaled to fit into a rectangle of given width and height.
  • Shared memory API: Android 8.1 (API level 27) introduces a new SharedMemory class. This class allows you to create, map, and manage anonymous shared memory that can be used by multiple processes or apps.
  • WallpaperColors API: Adds support for managing wallpaper colors. This feature lets you create a WallpaperColors object from a bitmap, a drawable, or by using the first three most visually representative colors. You can also retrieve details of the first three noticeable colors of a wallpaper.
  • Fingerprint updates

Source: Developer Preview imagesDeveloper Preview OTA files