Google has released Android 8.1 Developer Preview. Android Beta Program users will soon get an over-the-air update to Android 8.1 beta. You can opt in to the beta at Android.com/beta or manually flash your device with a system image. The developer preview will be available for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Android emulator.
Key Features of Android 8.1 Developer Preview
The Big Highlight of the Android 8.1 Developer Preview is the new API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence which google calls Neural Networks API (NNAPI).
- Neural Networks API — It enables hardware-accelerated inference operations on supported devices.
- Android Go memory optimizations and targeting — Android 8.1 includes a set of memory optimizations for Android Go (for devices with 1GB or less of memory) configurations
- Autofill enhancements — It is made it easier for password managers and other Autofill services to use the Autofill framework.
- 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.
The final version 8.1 will be released in December. The will only two preview releases including this Android 8.1 Developer Preview. The next preview will be released in November. The Android 8.1 Developer Preview update elevates Android Development into API level 27.
Google Play Store is currently accepting apps targeting this new OS update. Google recommends Android developers to test their apps now. Unlike previous updates the final Android 8.1 version is going to be released soon. So In order to provide users a seamless transition to Android 8.1 when they get the updates on air, you should get your apps ready.
You can easily get the latest Android 8.1 update on the eligible phones, just by joining Android Beta. You can also setup an Android 8.1 emulator for testing instead. You can implement the new Android Oreo features in your apps, checkout the Android Oreo site for details. If your apps uses forms, be sure to test your apps with the new enhancements in Autofill framework.
Android 8.1 Developer Preview comes with a lot more additions, we’ll have to dig in ourselves to find any more interesting items.