Google Releases Final Android 8.1 Beta to Developers
Google today made the second and final developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo available to app writers and beta testers. The refreshed beta represents the OS is final form according to Google, though some bugs remain. Notably, Android 8.1 unlocks the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This will allow app developers to put the Pixel phones' HDR+ mode to use in their own imaging apps. This update to Android includes a significant number of under-the-hood changes. For example, apps can take advantage of hardware acceleration for on-device machine learning operations. Android 8.1 makes changes to notifications, helps developers target low-RAM devices, and improves Oreo's autofill behaviors. Developers gain a bevy of new tools, such as the Safe Browsing API for detecting threats, the Shared Memory API for creating apps that are able to share memory resources, and the Wallpapercolors API for tweaking wallpapers. Other updates include the ability to assign new behaviors to the fingerprint reader on Android handsets, such as permanently lockout users who fail too many times to unlock their device with a fingerprint. The Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview 2 is available to registered developers and Android beta testers. Google has made system images available for direct installation on compatible handsets, though an over-the-air update will also reach registered Google users in the near future. The beta is compatible with the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C. Google expects to release the final version of Android 8.1 Oreo to devices starting in December.
Google made the first public beta of Android P available today and it packs a ton of new and useful features. Android users will soon be able to take advantage of spiffy swiping gestures, screenshot editing tools, advanced battery life tools, improved do not disturb mode, a more powerful Google Assistant, and more.
The Pixel 2 XL from Google is a high-end handset that includes a powerful camera, a big screen, a metal design, and a pure Google experience that comes with the promise of speedy software updates. It represents what Google thinks Android is all about.
The Google Pixel 2, made by HTC, is a compact smartphone that merges a metal design with a medium-sized screen. Other stand-out features include squeezable sides to call up the Google Assistant and a rapid fingerprint reader.
Is photography your passion? If so, and you're in the market for a new phone, the Apple iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ should be at the top of your list.
The Pixel 2 XL is Google's flagship Android handset. Though the software is more important than the hardware, the Pixel 2 XL is a big statement from Google.
5" display 1080 x 1920 pixels
Snapdragon 835 processor 4 GB RAM
2,700 mAh battery
NFC, Fingerprint Reader, Water-Resistant, VR-ready