Essential Phone Beta Testers Receive The First Oreo 8.1 Build

Essential Phone - Pure White

For those enrolled in the beta testing program for the Essential Phone, it is time to check for a system update.  The first beta of the company’s Android Oreo 8.1 build has been released and testers will be receiving the update via an OTA download.  As you may recall, Essential pulled the Oreo 8.0 build last month, citing issue with stability in the build, and decided to scrap it to move straight to 8.1.

The build has the February Android Security Update patch included and also has a fix for a common problem for users of the Essential Phone:  Slow scroll jitter.  Users have complained that the phone has a lot of jitter when slowly scrolling up or down a patch.  This beta has a fix for it and appears to be working well.  All in, the OTA update is just over 500MB in size so WiFi downloading is a must.

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Android Oreo 8.1 Released for The Nokia 8

Nokia 8

After being in beta for just a few weeks, HMD Global has released the Android Oreo 8.1 update for the Nokia 8.  The news of the release came from the company’s Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas, on Twitter:

The news of the release was a bit of a surprise given that the open beta for the 8.1 build only started in late January.

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Android Oreo Finally Breaks 1% Install Base in The Latest Android Distribution Report

February 2018 Android Distribution Report

The slow and somewhat painful adoption of Android Oreo continues but there are some highlights to point out in this month’s Android Distribution Report.  Google released the report today and it shows that the latest version of the Android platform, Oreo, was installed on 1.1% of the devices that hit the Google Play Store for the 7-day period ending February 5, 2018.  That’s up .4% from the January report but there isn’t much to applaud frankly.

Android Oreo has been out now six months and despite Google and manufactures releasing updates, the needle has hardly moved on adoption.  This is likely due to a couple of reasons.  First, manufactures are being painfully slow in getting the updates out themselves.  Two, lots of people are using devices that are over 2 years old and will not be updated.

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Essential Scraps Its Android Oreo 8.0 Build Over Stability Issues – Moving to 8.1

Essential Phone - Black

In a somewhat surprising announcement on Twitter yesterday, Essential, makers of the Essential Phone, said that they were abandoning their current Android Oreo 8.0 build to start an 8.1 build for customers.  The 8.0 build has been in beta for a few weeks now and the company stated that stability issues where the driver behind the decision.

The decision means that any Oreo build for the Essential Phone is going to be delayed, in the company’s terms, “a couple of weeks”.

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Android Beta Program Now Receiving Oreo 8.1 Production Build

System Updates in Android Oreo

With the beta program now completed, members of the Android Beta Program are now starting to receive the production build of Oreo 8.1.  Google released this final build yesterday and those with with Pixel devices and Nexus devices that were in the program should start seeing the OTA update to the production build over the next few days.

The update is very small, just over 40MB, reflecting the fact that the second and final beta of Oreo 8.1 was all-but complete.  That small of an update means very few bugs were found to be fixed.

If you are new to the Android Beta Program, there is nothing special you need to do.  The OTA will download to your phone just like any other update from Google.  It is just a matter of when it gets to your account.

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Android Oreo 8.1 Slated to Launch Today

Android Oreo on Nexus 6P

In part of a broader announcement regarding Android Oreo Go Edition, Google has announced that Android Oreo 8.1 will be available to eligible Pixel and Nexus devices starting later today.  The update is the first maintenance release for Oreo and brings several refinements to the platform.  Oreo 8.1 has been in beta testing since October and Google had committed to getting it out to the general public before the end of 2017.

Along with a handful of refinements, Oreo 8.1 brings enables the Pixel 2’s Pixel Visual Core, Google visual co-processor, an updated API set (API Level 27) and several minor tweaks to help prevent screen burn-in and other fixes.

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Android Oreo 8.1 Developer Preview 2 Released

Android Oreo on Nexus 6P

Today the second Developer Preview of Android Oreo 8.1 was released to those in the Android Beta Program.  The update brings the November 2017 Android Security Update to the beta program and OTA updates for those with devices enrolled should start flowing today and throughout the next few days.

This will be the last Developer Preview of Oreo 8.1 before it is generally released next month.  You can read about all the major updates & changes coming in Oreo 8.1 here.

The 2nd preview more-or-less fixes bugs and other issues found in the first preview released last month.  The new Pixel Visual Core, which was not in DP1, is now enabled in this second preview.  For those that are familiar with this feature, it is Google’s first co-processor for image processing and Machine Learning.  Currently it is only available in the Pixel 2 lineup.

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