Gooogle released the Android 8.0 Oreo update for Google Pixel flagship in August and the Pixel 2 flagship arrived with pre-installed Android Oreo, indeed. The next major update for Pixel 2 and Pixel 1 aka original Pixel flagships is Android 8.1.
In August, the Google app tear down done by developers, first revealed the existence of Android 8.1. Later, on October 25th, The search giant released the first developer preview of Android 8.1 (MR1). The first maintenance release of Android Oreo arrives with API level 27. According to the official Android blog, the final build of Android 8.1 will be out by the end of December.
Also Read : Android 8.1 Oreo for Galaxy S7 and S8
As the phones made by Google, Pixel 2 and Pixel will be the first to receive the next major update. Current estimates show that the rollout of Android 8.1 will begin for Pixel 2 and Pixel smart phones in late-December 2017. Carrier locked Pixel 2 and Pixel devices might start receiving the update in early-January 2018.
Also Read : Android 8.1 Oreo for Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact
The Android 8.1 Oreo update coming with many awesome features like Neural network API, Bluetooth Battery levels in Quick Settings, SMS connect for chrome books, Optimization of storage space, Buttery smooth scrolling, Redesigned Power Menu and so on, according to Android Verge.
Due to the Neural Network API feature, which provides a base layer of functionality for neural networks like Tensor Flowlite, Caffe2, machine learning will be improved very much. So speed of inference will be improved and no data connection is needed for inference. The AI chip in the Pixel 2 flagship is suppossed to be activated by the Neural Network API of Android 8.1.
In the Android 8.1, Power Menu has redesigned. Albeit the new power menu present already in Pixel 2, it is coming through the Android 8.1 update to the original Pixel devices. The newly designed power menu with Power Off and Restart options appears at the edge of screen. Although, the UI of new power menu appears broken in the DP of Android 8.1, Google may fix the glitches in the final release.
We will update this post soon with more details about Android 8.1 Oreo for Google Pixel 2 and Pixel.
Update on 6/12/2017 :
Google released the consumer version of Android 8.1 Oreo shortly after the release of the final preview of it. Currently, the factory images and OTA files of Android 8.1 are available for Pixel 2 and original Pixel. So interested tech enthusiasts can download them and sideload into their devices. But we strongly recommend the users to wait until the official OTA rollout spreads. The rollout has already started and will spread throughout the world in a few days.
The update contains December security patch and the version number is OPM1.171019.011, in which M1 means the first Maintenance release. In this update, Google included two security patches for many security bugs detected and also 48 additional bug fixes. The Android 8.1 update activates the Pixel 2 Visual core chip, which speeds up HDR image processing and Portrait image processing and also reduces load on CPU. According to some users, their devices are working fine after Android 8.1 update and no issues have been reported so far.