What’s New in Android 8.1 Oreo?
Android 8.1 Oreo is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, which brings a number of new features and improvements to Android devices. Here are some of the highlights of Android 8.1 Oreo:
- Android Oreo (Go edition): This is a special configuration of Android 8.1 that is optimized for entry-level devices with 1GB or less of RAM. It includes memory optimizations, flexible targeting options, and a curated set of apps and features that are tailored for the needs of billions of people coming online around the world.
- Neural Networks API: This is a new API that provides accelerated computation and inference for on-device machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow Lite, Caffe2, and others. It enables developers to run models like MobileNets, Inception v3, and Smart Reply efficiently on mobile devices.
- Autofill framework updates: This is a set of improvements to the Autofill Framework that was introduced in Android 8.0, which allows users to easily fill out forms and passwords with the help of autofill services. The updates include the ability to provide string representations of the values in an adapter, such as a spinner control, and the ability to notify the framework about changes in the visibility of a view in a virtual structure.
- Adaptive icons: This is a feature that allows developers to provide a full-bleed square shaped icon and OEMs to mask the icon to ensure intra-device consistency. This means that icons can have different shapes depending on the device theme, such as circular, squircle, or teardrop.
- Notification categories and snoozing: This is a feature that gives users more control over which notifications can appear and how intrusive they are. Users can also snooze notifications for a period of time, similar to inbox snoozing, which means that they can temporarily hide notifications and get them back later.
- Pointer capture: This is a feature that allows the app to capture all mouse input, which is useful for apps that require precise pointer movements, such as games or remote desktop apps.
- Project Treble: This is a major change to the foundations of Android that makes it easier and faster for hardware makers to deliver Android updates. It introduces a modular architecture that separates the vendor implementation from the Android OS framework.
To check and update your Android version, you can follow these steps:
- When you get a notification, open it and tap the update action.
- If you cleared your notification or your device has been offline: Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Near the bottom, tap System System update.
- You’ll see your update status. Follow any steps on the screen.
Android 8.1 Oreo Tips and Tricks
Android 8.1 Oreo is not only a minor update to the previous Android 8.0 version, but also a useful one that brings some new features and enhancements to your device. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Android 8.1 Oreo:
- Visual Core: If you have a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, you can take advantage of the Visual Core, a dedicated image processing chip that can improve the quality and speed of your photos. To enable it, go to Settings > System > Developer options and toggle on Camera HAL HDR+. This will allow third-party apps like Instagram and Snapchat to use the Visual Core for HDR+ photos.
- Smart Storage: If you are running low on storage space, you can use the Smart Storage feature to automatically delete old photos and videos that have been backed up to Google Photos. To enable it, go to Settings > Storage and tap on Smart Storage. You can choose to remove backed up photos and videos after 30, 60, or 90 days.
- Bluetooth battery level: You can now see the battery level of your connected Bluetooth devices in the Quick Settings panel. Just swipe down from the top of the screen and tap on the Bluetooth icon. You will see a small battery icon next to each device name, indicating how much juice they have left.
- Picture-in-picture mode: You can watch videos in a floating window while doing other things on your phone with the picture-in-picture mode. To use it, just start playing a video in a supported app like YouTube or Google Maps, then press the home button. The video will shrink to a small window that you can move around or resize. To exit the mode, just tap on the window and press the X button.
- Notification snoozing: You can snooze notifications for later if you don’t want to deal with them right away. Just swipe slightly left or right on a notification and tap on the clock icon. You can choose to snooze it for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours. The notification will reappear after the selected time.
- Notification channels: You can customize which types of notifications you want to receive from each app with the notification channels feature. Just long-press on a notification and tap on All Categories. You will see a list of different categories of notifications for that app, such as messages, reminders, downloads, etc. You can toggle each category on or off, or change its importance level from low to urgent.
- Notification dots: You can see which apps have unread notifications with the notification dots feature. Just look for a small dot on the app icon on your home screen or app drawer. You can long-press on the app icon to see a preview of the notifications and quickly access them.
- Autofill framework: You can save time and hassle by using the autofill framework to fill out forms and passwords with your preferred autofill service. Just go to Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced > Autofill service and select your service of choice, such as Google or LastPass. The next time you encounter a form or password field, you will see an autofill prompt that lets you fill it with one tap.
- Adaptive icons: You can change the shape of your app icons to match your home screen theme with the adaptive icons feature. Just long-press on an empty space on your home screen and tap on Settings > Change icon shape. You can choose from square, rounded square, squircle, teardrop, or cylinder shapes. Note that this feature may not work with some third-party launchers or icon packs.
- Instant Apps: You can try out some apps without installing them with the Instant Apps feature. Just go to Settings > Google > Instant Apps and toggle it on. Then you can search for apps that support this feature on Google Play or Google Search and tap on Try Now. The app will launch instantly without taking up any storage space on