Google releases Android Oreo 8.1 Developer Preview beta

It's not all that long since the launch of Android 8.0 Oreo -- not that many people have it on their phones -- but Google has already pushed out a developer preview of Oreo 8.1.

As this is an early beta, there are not a huge number of changes to see in Android Oreo 8.1 developer preview -- but under the hood, there's quite a lot going on. For now, compatibility is limited to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but for these handsets new features include a Neural Networks API to improve machine learning, improved autofill, and Android Go optimizations.

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The roadmap for Oreo 8.1 sees Google aiming for a final public release in December, and there should be another Developer Preview next month. This build sees changes to notifications so apps can now only make a notification alert sound once per second, and there are improvements to fingerprint scanning. There's also a new power menu, an automatic dark theme and a semi-transparent notification shade -- all Pixel 2 features that are now making their way to other devices.

Google highlights the following new APIs in the Oreo 8.1 Developer Preview:

Despite the name, the Android Oreo 8.1 Developer Preview is available to anyone -- you just need to be signed up to the Android Beta Program. If you're already signed up, you should receive an OTA update to version 8.1.