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Google releases final preview for Android 8.1 that supports the Pixel 2’s custom camera chip

Android 8.1

 

Google rolled out an update to the Android 8.1 developer preview yesterday, this would be the last update that would be rolled out before the official launch in December.

Android 8.1 adds targeted enhancements to the Oreo platform, including optimizations for Android Go (for devices with 1GB or less of memory) and a Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence. We’ve also included a few smaller enhancements to Oreo in response to user and developer feedback.

If you have a device enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you’ll receive the update over the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled yet, just visit the Android Beta site to enroll and get the update.

At the official release in December we’ll bring Android 8.1 to all supported Pixel and Nexus devices worldwide which includes the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P.

This preview update includes near-final Android 8.1 system images for Pixel and Nexus devices, with official APIs (API level 27), the latest optimizations and bug fixes, and the November 2017 security patch updates. You can use the images for compatibility testing or to develop using new Android 8.1 features like the Neural Networks API and others.

The Neural Networks API provides accelerated computation and inference for on-device machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow Lite — Google’s cross-platform ML library for mobile — as well as Caffe2 and others. TensorFlow Lite is now available to developers, so visit the TensorFlow Lite open source repo for downloads and docs. TensorFlow Lite works with the Neural Networks API to run models like MobileNets, Inception v3, and Smart Reply efficiently on your mobile device.

Also, for Pixel 2 users, the Android 8.1 update on these devices enables Pixel Visual Core — Google’s first custom-designed co-processor for image processing and ML — through a new developer option. Once enabled, apps using Android Camera API can capture HDR+ shots through Pixel Visual Core. See the release notes for details.

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