Android 8.1 Oreo Dev Preview 2 Out For Pixel & Nexus Devices

Google on Monday released the second developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo, debuting what it deems near-final system images for the upcoming revision of its mobile OS. As expected, the newly introduced OS is available on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and the Pixel C tablet, as well as being supported by the Android emulator. Owners of any of the aforementioned devices can wait for the new software to hit their smartphones or the Pixel C as an over-the-air (OTA) package, so long as they're enrolled in Google's Android Beta testing program. If you aren't part of the initiative but own a compatible device, you can always enroll by referring to the banner below since Google doesn't put a limit on the number of open beta participants. Following the same banner will also allow you to download the company's latest Android system images should you want to flash them manually.

The second developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo will finally activate the Pixel Visual Core, Google's custom system-on-chip developed in collaboration with Intel that's integrated into the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, having been designed to make the image processing abilities of the two devices more efficient. The silicon is available to developers whose apps use the Android Camera API on the two flagships running the latest experimental OS, according to Google's previous statements.

The API version number moved from 26 to 27 in the second developer preview which also debuts a wide variety of Android Go optimizations meant to improve memory management capabilities of the lightweight version of Google's OS which was officially announced this spring and is targeting devices with no more than 1GB of RAM. The new software build also comes with a Neural Networks API, the very same one that's used in machine learning frameworks. Autofill support improvements are also part of the package, with the feature itself expanding to all apps so that developers can start working on implementing the functionality and have it ready in time for the stable release of Android 8.1 Oreo. Finally, the new software preview debuts a Shared Memory API, Google revealed. No firm release date for the next iteration of Android has yet been provided by the company, though an early 2018 launch seems likely.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]