Android 8.1 update for Moto G5 Plus and G5
Moto G5 Plus and G5 are the awesome mid-rangers from Motorola released in March 2017. The mid-rangers are currently running on Android 7.0 Nougat and will be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo very soon. Motorola is currently running the soaktests of Oreo for G5 Plus in some regions.
Google released the First Developer Preview of Android 8.1 Oreo on October 25th and consequently the Second preview on November 26th. The first preview arrives with API level 27, the SDK was available to developers prior to the release.
Finally on December 5th, Android 8.1 consumer version arrived with two big security patches and bug fixes. The rollout for Pixel 2, Pixel series and Nexus 5X, 6P devices began on December 6th.
Motorola is yet to rollout the Android 8.0 Oreo update for Moto G5 Plus and G5 devices. So it is still unclear, what Motorola is going to do with the future updates. Most probably, Motorola may rollout Android 8.1 long after Android 8.0 or may even cancel the Android 8.1 update for the mid-rangers.
If the Lenovo owned company decided to build the Android 8.1 for G5 Plus and G5 phones, then the rollout may take place in Q2 of 2018. Most likely, the rollout may begin earlier in India and Brazil regions and in the remaining regions it may take more time.
The official details about Android 8.1 for Moto G5 Plus and G5 will be revealed in coming days.
Android 8.1 Oreo Features
Android Oreo brings exciting features like Picture in Picture, Notification Dots, Wi-Fi enhancements and many more. According to leaks, Android 8.1 will be the first maintenance release (MR1), so we can expect the fixes for the bugs in Oreo and some improvements that enhance user experience. Recently discovered security bugs, also be patched through Android 8.1 update. So the update also improves the security of Moto G5 and G5 Plus devices.
Android 8.1 Redesigned Power Menu
New redesigned Power Menu is one of the refinements came with the Android 8.1 Oreo update. In the latest update, the Search Giant refined the power menu with fresh and elegant user interface along with night mode. The Power Menu appears in Light mode during day time and in Dark mode during night time to reduce eye strain.
In the Light mode, the Menu appears with light background and dark font and in the Night mode, it appears with dark background with light font. The menu changes automatically to night mode in night times. The position of the menu has also changed, the new menu appears at the side of the screen instead of centre of the screen as in previous android versions.
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.
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.
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.
Android 8.1 Bluetooth Battery levels
The Bluetooth Battery levels in the Quick Settings are the one of the awesome features of Android 8.1 Oreo. After updating to Android 8.1, Moto G5 Plus users can check the battery levels of their Bluetooth devices straight from the home screen by simply swiping down with one finger or two fingers. Then, the Bluetooth icon along with the battery level of the connected device will be displayed in the Quick Settings toggles.
So, Moto G5 Plus users can charge thier Bluetooth devices, according to the battery level. The Search Giant may improve this feature further in the upcoming Android P update.
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.
Speed labels to Open Wi-Fi Networks
This is one of the useful features coming with the Android 8.1 update. Recently on January 22nd, Google enabled the feature on Pixel and Pixel XL devices. Under this feature, open Wi-Fi Networks appear with the following labels Slow, OK, Fast, Very Fast. The Veryfast label means 20+ Mbps, Fast means 5-20 Mbps, OK means 1-5 Mbps and Slow means 0-1 Mbps. With this feature, users can determine which is the best open network and to stream HD videos and Calls over Wi-Fi.
Improved Battery Section
The Battery Section in the Settings Menu has refined in the Android 8.1 Oreo update. Previously, with the App Background limits feature of Android 8.0 Oreo, Google succeeded in improving the battery life to some extent. Now with Android 8.1, Google took another step for better battery life.
The Battery Section shows the list of apps which are unusually draining the battery. So that Users can take necessary actions to prevent the battery drain.
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.
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.
The full change log of Android 8.1 update for Moto G5 and G5 Plus devices will be revealed in coming days.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android 8.1 update for Moto G5 and G5 Plus.
Update 28/10/2017 :
Google released the Android 8.1 developer preview for the Beta testers. Currently, the Beta is available 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 famous tech blog, Android Headlines expects 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, new 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 15/12/2017 :
Google releases the Consumer version of Android 8.1 Oreo on 6th December, shortly after the release of the second preview on 27th November. In the final preview, the Search Giant included two major security patches and fixes for 48 additional bugs.
Initial rollout of Android 8.1 for Nexus 5X, 6P and Pixel and Pixel 2 devices has begun on December 7th and still rolling out. However, Android Oreo still sits at 0.5% of Android Distribution, according to the latest report. Despite the rollout of Android Oreo to Google’s devices and Sony flagships, still the Android Oreo distribution sits at very low. More details about the Android 8.1 update will be revealed soon.