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Android 8.1 Developer Preview released – Whats New? [Updated]

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If you are an Android Smartphone user, you might be knowing about its latest Android OS, which Android 8.0 Oreo. Today Google has released Android 8.1 update.

The Android 8.1 Developer Preview is available for Pixel and Nexus devices. To get the update, opt-in the Android Beta Program. Once it is done, you will soon receive an OTA update of Android 8.1 Beta. Those who previously enrolled in Beta Program are not required to re-enroll.

If you are wondering, what devices does Android 8.1 developer preview supports, here are the names. You can get OTA of beta OS on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices along with Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Android Emulator.

What’s new in Android 8.1 Beta?

  • Android Go memory optimizations and targeting — Android 8.1 houses array of memory optimizations for Android Go configurations (1GB or less of memory). It also includes new hardware feature constants so you can now target the distribution of your apps and APK splits to normal or low-RAM devices running Android 8.1 and later.
  • Neural Networks API — Google has added a Neural Networks API via the NDK. It enables hardware-accelerated inference operations on supported devices. Google designed the Neural Networks API as a foundational layer for ML frameworks like TensorFlow Lite (Google’s upcoming cross-platform ML framework for mobile — as well as Caffe2 and others.)
  • Autofill enhancements — we’ve made it easier for password managers and other Autofill services to use the Autofill framework. The Android 8.1 (Beta) allows more UI customization of the Save dialog, as well as setAutofillOptions() for users to set credit card expiration using a spinner.
  • Shared memory API — this new API lets apps allocate shared memory for faster access to common data. Apps can map anonymous shared memory and manage protection controls using the SharedMemory API. The API is parcelable, AIDL friendly, and exposes useful features like removing write permissions.
  • sRGB Toggle Removed — At least in Android 8.1 Beta, Google has removed sRGB Toggle option from developer settings.
  • Oreo Themed System Notifications — The Oreo branding is further eminent in System notifications. It is a system wide change which will come into effect after installing the beta.
  • Search Bar added at Top of settings —  Google has added a much visible search bar at the top of settings. It even stays at the top when scrolling. This would be convenient in case if you are searching for a particular settings / options.
  • Quick Settings Changes — In Android 8.0 (Oreo) quick settings interface had a light theme (white). In Android 8.1 Beta, the interface color is largely dependent on the color of wallpaper and not pre determined.
  • Bluetooth Battery level — It basically shows the Battery life of connected Bluetooth device. This feature is already available for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users.
  • New Power Menu UI — The 8.1 Beta update will add a new Power Menu User Interface. It does have Power and Restart option, but aesthetically, it is different than what we are accustomed of seeing.
  • Programmatic Safe Browsing actions — Devs can control whether an app reports known threats to Safe Browsing, and have the app automatically perform a particular action—such as going back to safety—each time it encounters a URL that Safe Browsing classifies as a known threat.
  • Video thumbnail extractor — The MediaMetadataRetriever class has a new method, getScaledFrameAtTime(), that finds a frame near a given time position and returns a bitmap with the same aspect ratio as the source frame, but scaled to fit into a rectangle of given width and height.
  • WallpaperColors API: Adds support for managing wallpaper colors. This feature lets you create a WallpaperColors object from a bitmap, a draw-able, or by using the first three most visually

The Final Public release on Android 8.1 OS is expected to be be available in December 2017. If you own an eligible device and interested in Beta, head here.

Source Google
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