Google has started to push Android 8.1 Oreo to Nexus and Pixel devices, and expects to complete the rollout over the next week. The company event posted software images for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C tablet, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X. Google launched the first Android 8.1 preview in October and the second preview in November.
Android 8.1 Oreo isn’t drastically different from Android 8.0. In fact, it should be considered as a minor update. However, it does enable the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which is a co-processor that improves the speed of taking HDR photos. Other than that, Android 8.1 Oreo offers minor tweaks in the form of bug fixes, security patches and a new Neural Networks API designed to accelerate on-device machine learning intelligence.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of Android 8.1 Oreo is that the OS will support low-end devices, and for that Google has already announced Android Oreo Go Edition. It’s a stripped-down version of Android Oreo designed to run on smartphones with 512MB to 1GB RAM. And it includes a number of performance and storage improvements, as well as a suite of light-weight apps and a tailored version of Google Play store.
At an event held in New Delhi on Tuesday, Google said it’s working with devices manufacturers to bring the Android Oreo Go Edition devices to the market in the beginning of next year. The company says it is chasing the “next billion users” with Android Oreo Go Edition.