Android 8.1 Oreo for LG G6 and V30 : Features and Release Date
LG G6 and V30 flagships arrived with pre-installed Android Nougat and yet to receive the Oreo update in many regions. In December 2017, the South Korean tech giant began the rollout of Android 8.0 for V30 devices in its home country and later in January 2018, the beta testing has begun in the States. Later, in March and April 2018, the V30 users in the US and Canada received the Android 8.0 Oreo update. The Oreo update for LG G6 is currently being tested in China only. Recently, both the flagships are included in the “Android Enterprise Recommended” Program and G6 and V30 will receive the Android 8.1 update, according to LG.
On December 5th, The Search Giant announced the Android 8.1 update (MR1) which is the First Maintenance Release for Oreo and till now, Google Pixel 2, Pixel and some Nexus series devices received the update while Essential Phone and some Nokia devices got the Beta release of Android 8.1. The update contains many awesome features like Neural Network API, Bluetooth Battery levels, More Free Space, Refined Power Menu User interface, Wi-Fi Speed Labels and many more.
Many G6 and V30 users are wondering when they will receive this awesome update, but LG didn’t announced any official rollout dates. We expect that the development of the Android 8.1 updates could take place in Q1 of 2018. So LG G6 and V30 devices most likely to receive the update in April or May of 2018, if the beta testing completed successfully. LG V30 and V30+ flagships will be the first to receive the update and G6 stands next to them. The official rollout dates will be posted here as soon as LG announced them.
Android 8.1 Oreo Features
Google released the first developer preview of Android 8.1 on October 25th with many awesome features like Neural network API, Bluetooth battery levels, performance improvements, Redesigned Battery section in Settings and so on. According to earlier leaks, the Search Giant started the development of Android 8.1 immediately after the release of Android 8.0.
On November 26th, Google released the Final developer preview with fixed Cheese burger and Beer Emoji and other improvements. The Pixel 2 Visual core chip has been activated by the Android 8.1 Preview 2.
In the consumer release of Android 8.1, Google included several security fixes for the recently discovered vulnerabilities and also 48 additional bug fixes.
With the Neural network API feature, a base layer for neural networks like TensorFlowLite and Caffe 2 has provided. So the machine learning will be enhanced and users can get much advantage from their smartphones. The NNAPI helps in classifying images, predicting user behaviour, giving appropriate responses to a search quary and many more situations where Machine intelligence used.
Buttery smooth scrolling is another awesome feature of the Android 8.1 update. In this the Search giant implemented extra layer of buffer to make scrolling smooth like butter. The responsiveness of the device may decrease due to smooth scrolling but user experience will be very much improved with buttery smooth scrolling.
Bluetooth Battery levels in Quick Settings
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL flagships unveiled with a feature called Bluetooth Battery levels in Quick Settings. In the Android 8.1 update, Google further improved the feature. When the user swipes down the on the home screen, the battery levels of the Bluetooth device connected will be displayed in the Quick panel next to the Bluetooth icon.
So on Android 8.1 platform, users can easily check the Battery levels of their Bluetooth devices quickly from the home screen. Actually, Apple brought this remarkable feature to iPhones with the iOS 9 update. Now this useful feature arrived to Android devices with the Android 8.1 Oreo update. The Search Giant will refine it further in the upcoming Android Pistachio Ice Cream aka Android 9.0 operating system.
In the Android 8.1 update, Google made some visual changes in order to provide better user experience. The visual changes include automatic fading of navigation bar buttons and the Search bar in Settings.
When the navigation bar buttons not used for two seconds, they will fade in both light and dark themes. So that eys strain will be reduced and screen burn-in of the buttons won’t happen quickly. The full fledged Settings bar in the Settings Menu will make Settings search easy for users. Previously, only a Search button was present in the Settings menu. Now in Android 8.1, full light Search bar appears in the Settings app.
Increase in Free Space
Google made significant changes in this update to increase the free space in storage. The system automatically clears the Dalvik cache of Inactive apps, thereby reduces the size occupied by the app in the internal memory after the Android 8.1 update. So the user will be able to install more apps and store files like pictures, music etc. in the internal memory.
According to some reports, the Search is going enhance the reduction in app sizes further in the upcoming Android P update.
Improvements to Notifications
The Android 8.1 update brought some improvements to notifications. Apps can only make a notification alert sound once per second in Android 8.1 and they are also able to be completely muted. This doesn’t affect the notification behaviour.
Previously with Android 8.0, Google brought Notification Dots and Channels to the most popular OS in the World. Now with the first maintenance release update, the Search giant brought necessary improvements to make user experience much better. User annoying notifications will be lost with the latest update.
Refined Battery Section
Previously, in Android 8.0 Oreo, App Background limits arrived to limit the background processes run by apps to prevent the battery drain. In Android 8.1, the Search Giant refined the Battery Section in the Settings Menu to include the list of unusual battery draining apps and their mechanism of drain. The user interface of the Battery Section has refined and more details about the battery saving have added.
For example, if the Maps Preview app is draining excess Battery through the Location requests, the app will be displayed in the Battery section. Users can prevent further drain of battery by disabling Location requests for the app. But that method also renders the app useless.
Autofill is a new feature arrived with the Android 8.0 Oreo update and very useful to users. In Android 8.1, Google has much refined the feature, so that password managers and autofill services use the Autofill framework easier. The user interface and the options regarding creditcard details are also improved in Android 8.1.
With the Autofill APIs, users can automatically fill forms and logins in most of the apps using the password managers like Lastpass, 1Password and Google Autofill. In Chrome, the feature is not usable till now, but Google solved the issue in the Android P preview. So more optimizations to Autofill will come in future.
Android 8.1 Redesigned Power Menu
Previously, in Android 7.1, Google brought the Restart button for stock android. Now in Android 8.1, powermenu and restarting screen undergone a complete visual overhaul. The new powermenu appears on the side of the screen, similar to that of Pixel 2 devices. So the powermenu is more userfriendly and on large devices, it will be easy to tap on the options with single hand.
Another visual change is that the menu appears in lightmode in day time while nightmode during night time, so that eyestrain will be reduced. The Restarting screen is introduced with Android 8.1 and the Shutting down screen also changed completely, and new screens appear with Material background overlay and fresh look.
Security patches and bug fixes
In Android 8.1 final release, Google included two security patches dated on 1st and 5th December which contain numerous fixes for recently discovered security vulnerabilities. The Search gaint also included 48 additional bug fixes in the consumer release. According to the Pixel and Nexus 5X users, performance and battery backup have improved slightly after installing the Android 8.1 update.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android 8.1 update for LG G6 and V30 flagships.
Update on 23/2/2018 :
LG announces that G6 and V30 are included in the Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended Program and receive the Android 8.1 directly. Under the program by the Search Giant, the security patches and updated should be rolledout to the devices within at least 90 days.
So inspite the testing of Oreo for LG G6 in China and V30 in the US, the South Korean tech giant will develop the Android 8.1 update very soon. Most probably the rollout will take place in the next month or April. The official rollout dates will be announced by LG in coming days.