Google Releases Android 8.1 Oreo — Activates Pixel 2’s “Secret” Visual Core Chip

After shipping two developer previews, Google has finally pushed the Android 8.1 Oreo release. In a blog post, Google called it another important step in its AI-first mobile platform for all users and devices.

Android 8.1 brings the Neural Networks API, which is hardware accelerated machine learning runtime. It’ll support machine learning capabilities in apps. As a result, the supported devices can use this API to provide a base layer, higher-level, machine learning framework for many use cases.

Pixel 2 is one of the first devices to ship with dedicated machine learning chips named Pixel Visual Core. With Android 8.1 release, Google is turning this dormant chip ON for everybody. It’s worth noting that phones without specialized chips can take advantage of the new Neural Networks API by running TensorFlow Lite and other AI frameworks on-device.

This release also includes several improvements to Autofill Framework that developers can incorporate on their apps. Few changes to notifications and other obvious fixes and security improvements have also been made.

Android 8.1 also marks the release of Android Oreo (Go Edition), which is a lightweight and specially crafted version of the Android operating system for cheaper phones with less than 1GB RAM.

The update to supported Pixel and Nexus devices will be rolled out over the next week. Google says that it’s working with smartphone OEMs to bring Android 8.1 to more number of devices. The factory images for Pixel and Nexus devices are also being made available.

Which Android version is your device running? Don’t forget to share your views about the new release with us.

Also Read: 7 Best Android Keyboard Apps To Enhance Your Typing: 2017 Edition
Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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