Other non-Google branded devices should see the update landing in the near future.
Android 8.1 has started rolling out to Google Nexus and Pixel owners, with other handsets getting the update in the coming weeks.
Android 8.1 isn’t a major update to the platform, but it does add some rather interesting new features such as the Pixel Visual Core, which speeds up HDR photo processing on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, while also reducing the pressure it puts on the device’s battery. It’s designed to be a pretty open feature, with Google planning to produce more functions for it in future updates.
The other notable feature, outside of the usual bug and security fixes, is the Neural Networks API, created to speed up machine processing on-device. It means many applications using machine intelligence will run faster, which is always a bonus given the energy needed to run complicated processes.
Bluetooth devices will display a battery indicator for the connected peripheries as well as the smartphone itself, and some of Android’s emojis have been redesigned.
For lower-end devices with between 512MB and 1GB RAM, Google has developed a lighter-weight version of Android Oreo, which makes the most of the smaller processors. It’ll also show apps most optimised for less-powered devices in Google Play to make the most of the processing power across the entire experience.
So far, Android 8.1 has been rolled out to Google’s Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P, with other manufacturers working on their own skins of the update before announcing availability.