Android 8.1 update for Google Pixel and Pixel XL Release Date and Features
Google releases the Developer Preview of Android 8.1 Oreo for Pixel and Pixel XL devices. In Android 8.1, the API level increased to 27 and it is the first maintenance release (MR1) for Android Oreo.
Currently, the beta version of Android 8.1 is rolling out to the registered Pixel and Pixel XL owners. The latest update brings many awesome and advanced features like Neural network API for improved machine learning, Bluetooth battery levels, redesigned power menu and many more. Earlier, Pixel and Pixel users received the Android 8.0 Oreo update in August.
Android 8.1 Features
Previously, the Android 7.1 update brought some new Emoji, Image Keyboard support, App Shortcuts and some other features. This time the Android 8.1 update may bring the Fixes for Bluetooth issues of some Pixel devices as Google already confirmed that they will release the patch soon. The fix for the auto Mobile data disable bug may also be included in the update.
Improved Security and System stability are always a part of any new Android update. So Android 8.1 will also bring improved security features and system stability features.
Android 8.1 will Increase Storage Free Space
According to Phonearena and XDA Developers, the Android 8.1 update is going to bring a new feature to reduce the space occupied by inactive apps and thereby increase free space of storage. After certain period of time, recently not used apps will be considered as inactive and in Android 8.1, Google implemented a rule that inactive apps won’t take up any space in the Dalvik cache.
Also Read : Google Pixel 3 is coming with Android P, Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
After updating Android 8.1, the device automatically determines inactive apps and frees up space. So Pixel and Pixel XL users after updating to Android 8.1 will see increase in free space. This exclusive feature is more useful to devices without any Micro SD support.
Android 8.1 Redesigned Power Menu
Previously, in Android 7.1, Google brought the Restart button for stock android, although it has been available since a long time to other Android devices with custom skins. Now in Pixel 2 flagship which runs on stock Android 8.0, the Search Giant refined the position and UI of the power menu. The newly designed powermenu coming to Pixel and Pixel XL devices with the Android 8.1 update. LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P devices will also get the refined power menu through the Android 8.1 update.
In Android 8.1, Power menu with Restart and Power Off options appear on the right edge of the screen rather than on the middle. The beta testers can also activate the Bug report button which appears below the poweroff button in the power menu.
Bluetooth Battery levels
One of the exciting features of Android 8.1 is Bluetooth battery levels in the quick settings toggles. Originally, Apple brought this feature to iPhone with iOS 9. Then, Apple made several improvements to the feature, so the iOS 11 users are able to create a widget to check the Battery levels of multiple Bluetooth devices.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices first arrived with the Bluetooth battery levels feature. Then, Google made several refinements and rolled out to Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL devices through Android 8.1 Developer Preview. The users running on the Android 8.1 Preview can check their Bluetooth battery levels by swiping down on the screen to open Quick Settings, in that Bluetooth icon along with the battery level will be displayed.
Buttery smooth User Interface
Google has been trying to improve the smoothness of the Android UI since the launch of Android 4.1 Jellybean. Through the Triple Buffering of Project Butter, the Search Giant improved the smoothness of scrolling and other things in Jellybean. Now it seems that the Search Giant takes the smoothness another step forward.
According to a reddit user, the smooth scrolling without much frame drop rate in Android 8.1 is due to an extra layer of buffering over the previous Triple buffering. So the UI in Android 8.1 scrolls very smoothly but the responsiveness is slowed down a little bit. As the next update is currently in development stage, we probably see the increase in responsiveness in the final release.
According to Wccftech, the preview build is plagued with Factory reset bug. Google also confirms this bug and might fix in the final version. A redditor forgot the pattern lock of the Pixel 2 XL running on the Preview and reset the device after which the device requires pattern lock to unlock. So the user finally sent back to Google to resolve the problem.
The official change log of Android 8.1 will be revealed in coming days.
Android 8.1 for Google Pixel and Pixel XL Release Date
The revealed code of the Google App APK doesn’t contain any clues to Android 8.1 features and release date obviously. So we have to make a very educated guess about the release date of Android 8.1 for the Pixel devices.
Previously, the Android 7.1 update arrived along with the Pixel series in October and rolled out to Nexus 5X and 6P devices. So this time also the Search Giant may release the Android 8.1 update in October along with the Pixel 2 series announcement. By the end of the October, the rollout of Android 8.1 Oreo may begin for Pixel and Pixel XL devices.
Carrier locked Pixel and Pixel XL devices may get the next big Android update in November or December 2017. The confirmed release dates of Android 8.1 for the Pixel series will be revealed soon.
Update on 17/10/2017 :
Google has announced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL flagships with Android 8.0 Oreo and not with Android 8.1 as previously expected. But today, the Search Giant announced that the latest Pixel devices contain a visual core chip for Camera which is yet to be enabled. Google has confirmed that the chip wil be enabled through the Android 8.1 Oreo update in coming weeks.
So the Android 8.1 update has been confirmed officially by Google and the developer preview of Android 8.1 will in in coming weeks. However, the final rollout of Android 8.1 might happen after some time the developer preview released.
Update 28/10/2017 :
Google released the Android 8.1 developer preview for the beta testers. Currently, the developer preview factory images for Nexus 5X and 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL, Pixel C, Pixel 2 XL flagships. The factory image for Google Pixel 2 isn’t available at the moment. Already Android 8.1 beta rollout through OTA for the registered Pixel and Nexus devices has began.
There is no word about the final release of Android 8.1 update. But Android Headlines has expected that the Search Giant might release it in December. In the mean time, another preview of Android 8.1 may come in November.
The preview contains new system UI changes borrowed from Pixel 2, Easter egg, SMS connect and some minor features. More details about the Android 8.1 features will be revealed in coming days.
Update on 28/11/2017 :
Google releases the second and final developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo ahead of the consumer launch in December. A few hours ago, the seeding of Android 8.1 Preview 2 has started for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P devices. Android 8.1 DP2 system images are also available to download from Android Beta official site.
The new features of the latest preview include improvements to Neural Network API, activation of Pixel 2 visual core (co-processor), refinements of some Android Oreo features. So the apps using Android Camera API can capture and process images through Visual core co-processor in Pixel 2 devices.
Update on 5/12/2017 :
Google released the Security bulletin of December‘s a few hours ago, usually the security bulletin comes out one day before the rollout of update, according to 9to5Google. Wccftech suggests that the Search giant will begin the rollout of Android 8.1 for Pixel, Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices on tomorrow. As many users already know, the factory images of Android 8.1 will be available earlier than the OTA rollout.
So Pixel and Pixel XL users might start receiving the update through OTA in a few hours. As the rollout will take place in phases, some users have to wait more time to taste the latest Android update.
According to the bulletin, 19 issues have been resolved in 2017-12-01 patch and 28 issues in the patch dated 2017-12-05. There are 48 additional bug fixes also coming with the update. Verizon has revealed the version number of the Android 8.1 update as OPM1.171019.011. The full change log of the update is yet to be revealed.