Google has officially started rolling out the final Android 8.1 update for its Pixel and Nexus smartphones. The stable Oreo update was announced alongside the Android Oreo (Go edition) at the Google for India event. The latest source code of the Android 8.1 Oreo is being pushed out to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the update has started rolling out for supported Pixel and Nexus devices. Google also said that it's working with device makers to bring Android 8.1 to more devices, including Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, in upcoming months.
The Android 8.1 Oreo update also introduces the Neural Networks API. It is a hardware accelerated machine learning runtime to support ML capabilities in apps. Google says, “ On supported devices, the Neural Networks API enables fast and efficient inference for a range of key use cases, starting with vision-based object classification.” The update activates the Google Pixel’s Visual Core which is the company’s custom-designed image processor with machine learning.
Android Oreo (Go edition) is specifically optimised to run on phones with RAM between 512MB to 1GB. It’s not a fork of Android and can be enabled by OEMs by ticking off configuration flags in the Oreo version 8.1. Google promises of updating the Go Editions alongside each Android version, such as Android P (Go Edition), Android Q (Go Edition) and so forth.
The Android Oreo (Go edition) will use “Go” version of Google apps like YouTube Go, Files Go, Assistant Go, Gmail, Google Maps and more. These apps are specifically tailored for India and similar data-conscious markets and are lighter versions of their original apps. There is also a different version of Play Store for Android Oreo (Go Edition) devices. It will highlight all the “Go” apps specifically for Android Go and similar devices with less powerful hardware.