Google released Android Ore0 8.1 in December 5, 2017, in less than 4 months after the release of Android Oreo (8.0).
There are a couple of new features and enhancements (as well as bug fixes) in Android Oreo 8.1, compared to Android Oreo 8.0.
This Android Oreo guide will show you the new features in Android Oreo 8.1. For new features in Android Oreo 8.0, please check this post.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #1. Neural Networks API
With Android Oreo 8.1 update, Android API level climbs to 27 with considerable changes for developers, especially in machine learning.
Neural network processing, which provided a much faster computation than with general-use CPU alone, is one of the most prominent features in Android Ore0 8.1.
Neural Networks API provides a base layer of functionality for higher-level machine learning frameworks. It can be called by machine learning libraries, frameworks, or relevant tools so that developers can train their models off-device and deploy them on Android devices.
With Android Neural Networks API, apps can run computationally intensive operations on mobile phones and to support on-device inferencing including classifying images, predicting user’s behaviour and selecting appropriate responses to search query.
Because inferencing is on-device, all your data are kept on the phone. So, it is unnecessary to worry about the privacy issues.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #2. Android Oreo (Go edition)
Android Go is a smaller and lightweight version of Android targeted for more entry-level smartphones. It will complement Android One, which targets for middle range devices with pure Android experiences.
Android Oreo (Go edition) is the first release of Android Go. Some Android Go devices will be available in the market in 2018.
Compared to stock Android, Android Go is optimized for smartphones with lower specs:
- Memory optimizations: memory usage is improved to ensure that apps can still run efficiently on devices with 1GB or less RAM.
- Optimised Google Apps: Google apps are redesigned for lighter updates and optimised to ensure they use less memory, storage space and mobile data. This allows them to create more space and at the same time improving the phone’s performance.
- Google Play: All apps will still be available on devices running on Android Go. But Google Play in Android Go would highlight apps that are specifically optimised for Android Go.
We will review some Android Go phones once they are available.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #3. Visual core
Visual core is a processor introduced in Pixel 2 (and Pixel 2 XL) which allows 3rd party apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat, to use the HDR and other features that are available in the inbuilt Camera.
The usage of the visual core depends on individual apps, For example, 3rd party apps can use it to take HDR photos.
Besides, visual core can increase the speed of HDR processing and uses less energy than the standard image processor to process HDR photos.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #4. Cheeseburger emoji
The cheeseburger emoji in Android Oreo 8.1 has been fixed.
Now it displays the melted cheese slice on top of the meat patty in 8.1 instead of below it on Oreo 8.0.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #5. Dark/light systemUI theme matching wallpaper
In Android Oreo 8.0, many aspects of the System UI have been changed to a white theme.
Now, in Android Oreo 8.1, adaptive quick settings is introduced. System UI can now grab colour from your phone’s wallpaper, switching many aspects of the System UI like the quick settings panel, the volume sliders, the power menu and even the Pixel Launcher to a darker hue if the wallpaper is dark, and keeping it brighter if the wallpaper is light.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #6. Visual changes to the Quick Settings panel
The quick settings panel in Oreo 8.1 has received some minor visual changes.
Previously, in Android Oreo 8.0, the Quick Settings panel had a completely opaque background. In Android Oreo 8.1, the Quick Settings panel features a slightly transparent background.
The new semi-transparent background would allow users to continue to see what’s behind the panel without having to pull it up.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #7. Battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices
Another noticeable change in Oreo 8.1 is that the battery readout of the Bluetooth devices connected to the phone. In Pixel 2 phones, the battery level can be shown in the status bar, in quick settings and Bluetooth panel.
In previous versions of stock Android, the Bluetooth panel only displays the status of the connected device. Some Android vendors implemented their own solutions of showing battery level of connected devices.
The icons in the navigation bar are now smaller and closer together, making the navigation bar seem more compact.
The navigation bar now turns white when in settings in Android 8.1, while it remained black in 8.0.
The icons in the navigation bar: home, back, and overview, would automatically dim when there is no touch input in Android Oreo 8.1.
Please note, this is related to the launcher used. Third-party launchers may change this feature.
In Android Oreo 8.0 ( and in past versions of Android), the power menu is accessed by long pressing the power button on the phone. The power menu would appear in the center of the screen.
Now, in Android Oreo 8.1, the power menu no longer appears at the physical centre of the screen, instead, it not only has been reduced in size but also aligns with the power button.
This will facilitate one-handed operation.
Android Ore0 8.1 new features: #10. New, proper Oreo Easter Egg
The Android Oreo Easter egg now displays an Oreo cookie with the Android bugdroid in Oreo 8.1 instead of the orange “O” icon that is seen since the first Android O Developer Preview.
The “Octopus” Easter egg itself remains unchanged, as it can be still accessed by repeatedly tapping the Oreo cookie.
Do you have any questions on Android Oreo 8.1 vs Android Oreo 8.0?
If you have any questions on new features in Android Oreo 8.1, or if you want to share your thoughts on Android Oreo 8.1 vs Android Oreo 8.0, please let us know in the comment box below.
For questions on Android Oreo (Android 8.0 and 8.1), please check Android Oreo guides page.
For questions on Android Nougat (Android 7.0 and 7.1), please check Android Nougat guides page.
For questions on Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0), please check Android Marshmallow guide page.
For questions on Android Lollipop (Android 5.0 and 5.1), please check Android Lollipop guide page.
For other Android questions or problems, please check Android 101 page.
Please note, this is an owner-help-owner community. If you need official technical support or have warranty/sales related questions, please contact the vendor directly.