JUST AS PROMISED, Google has started pushing out Android 8.1 to Nexus and Pixel devices.
Android 8.1 isn't a major update, but its big talking point is Google's new Neural Networks API, which enables hardware-accelerated inference operations on supported devices.
It's likely that this API, designed for ML frameworks like TensorFlow Lite and Caffe2, will make use of the 'Pixel Visual Core', the Google-designed SoC inside the Pixel 2 that will bring HDR+ photography to third-party apps.
Elsewhere, Android 8.1 brings with it updates to autofill, with Google making it easier for password managers and similar services to use the Autofill framework, and a new shared memory API that lets apps allocate shared memory for faster access to common data.
Perhaps most importantly, Android 8.1 brings with it new burger and beer emojis.
Those on low-end devices will likely feel the benefit of Android 8.1 Oreo too, as Google has crafted a stripped-back version of the OS aimed at devices with less than 1GB of RAM.
"With our new and reimagined Google apps, we've focused on making them not only smaller, but smooth and fast too," Sagar Kamdar, director of product management at Google's Android division explained.
"For example, Google Go—a new app to find the information you want—optimises data by up to 40 per cent, weighs less than 5MB in size, and makes it faster to find popular and trending information with a simple, tappable interface. And with the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition), you can quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, and more with your voice and a single touch of the screen."
Google announced earlier this week that 'Android Go (Oreo Edition)', first revealed at the Google I/Oi, s being pushed out to device manufacturers and developers.
Android 8.1 is currently rolling out to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. µ
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