Image Credit: phonearena.com
Image Credit: phonearena.com

Mountain View-based internet firm, Google Corp. earlier this week begun rolling out the Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 to eligible smartphones which comes a month after the company dropped the developer preview 1 last month.

If you are one of those who likes to flash the OS version manually, Google has provided system images for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X. As as always, Pixel and Nexus devices receive the update first. If you don’t want to go that way, you can join the Android Beta programme and for the OTA update – which have also been reported to be rolling out to select devices.

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,” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering in the Android developers said in a blog post.

The Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 comes with official APIs, bug fixes and optimisations along with November security patch. Pixel 2 users specifically get to test Pixel Visual Core. As Google explained recently, Pixel Visual Core has been made to expand the reach of HDR+ camera mode, handle heavy imaging applications and deliver low latency with even more power-efficient HDR+ processing.

Pixel Visual Core, the search giant’s first custom-designed co-processor, is built in to every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 smartphones. The processor was not activated until now.

What lies at the centre of the Pixel Visual Core is Google-designed Image Processing Unit or IPU. The IPU is a fully-programmable, domain-specific processor. The eight-core processor is said to make the HDR+ run 5-times faster and at less than one-tenth the energy.

According to a report in 9to5Google website, the search giant has also fixed audio issues faced by some users while recording videos in the Pixel 2 handsets.

Notably, the Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 will be the last developer preview for the mobile OS version before the company rolls out the final version which has been confirmed to arrive in December.

Editor’s Note: Written with inputs from TOI and Google Blog Post