+ Monday October 14th, 2019

Google has this morning announced the Android 8.1 Developer Preview for supported Nexus and Pixel devices.

The update concentrates on optimizations for Android Go (for devices with 1GB or less of memory) and a new Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence. Dave Burke, VP Engineering for Android said that Android 8.1 moves the API level to 27, bringing some new APIs for developers to play around with including:

  • Android Go memory optimizations and targeting — Android
    8.1 includes a set of memory optimizations for Android
    configurations (1GB or less of memory). We’ve added new
    hardware feature constants
    so you can now target the distribution of your
    apps and APK splits to normal or low-RAM devices running Android 8.1 and later.

  • Neural Networks API — as part of our efforts to bring
    machine intelligence to Android, we’ve added a Neural
    Networks API
    via the NDK. It enables hardware-accelerated inference
    operations on supported devices. We designed the Neural Networks API as a
    foundational layer for ML frameworks like TensorFlow Lite — Google’s upcoming
    cross-platform ML framework for mobile — as well as Caffe2 and others. Stay
    tuned for TensorFlow Lite announcements.

  • Autofill enhancements — we’ve made it easier for password
    managers and other Autofill services to use the Autofill
    . For example, we’ve added support for more UI customization of the
    Save dialog, as well as setAutofillOptions()
    for users to set credit card expiration using a spinner.

  • Shared memory API — this new API lets apps allocate
    shared memory for faster access to common data. Apps can map anonymous shared
    memory and manage protection controls using the SharedMemory
    API. The API is parcelable, AIDL friendly, and exposes useful features like
    removing write permissions.

The Android 8.1 Developer Preview will be available for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices, as well as for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P – and if you’re a developer, in the Android Emulator. Anyone interested can sign up for the Beta at android.com/beta. Once enrolled, the Beta update to 8.1 can take up to 24 hours to appear or if you just have to have it right now, you can grab a flashable ROM from developer.android.com/preview/download.

Note:Prithi Anand on the Android Beta Program Google+ community has noted that the Beta Program OTA files won’t be pushed until tomorrow, saying:

We will start the rollout of OTAs tomorrow (Build: OPM1.170921.003). All currently enrolled Beta devices will receive an OTA update notification automatically.

Source: Android-Developers.

Daniel Tyson  


Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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