Android 8.1 Goes Official For Pixel/Nexus Devices With New Features & Fixes – Direct OTA Links and Factory Images

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Dec 5
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Google released the final developer preview of Android 8.1 last week, and today, the Android 8.1 final version has been made official for the Pixel and Nexus devices. As expected, this latest version of Android brings a slew of new features and changes that were seen on the Pixel 2 to the other Google devices. Meanwhile, Android 8.1 also brings several bug fixes and changes for the developers.

Regarding new features and changes, Android 8.1’s interface brings Pixel 2’s UI to rest of the Google devices. The new elements that come with it include At a Glance widget and the Pixel Launcher with a new bottom search bar. The Quick Settings has been made transparent, and there is a new floating power menu along with light/dark themes for the launcher and system UI, these themes are based on the wallpaper that the user has set on the device.

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Adding to the visual changes, the navigation bar in Settings and other apps is now lighter. This change has been made to adjust to the Pixel 2 XL’s burn-in/screen issue. The lighter navigation bar dims when the screen is left idle. With Android 8.1, Google has also resolved audio recording and Touch responsiveness issues. Other changes include improved Oreo Easter Egg along with a tint on lockscreen and homescreen that is based on the set wallpaper.

To help developers, Android 8.1 and API Level 27 now offer third-parties to make use of the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2 and Neural Networks API. The latest Neural Networks API is a hardware accelerated machine learning runtime to support ML capabilities in apps. For Android Go, there are now two new hardware-feature constraints to allow developers to target their apps for low-RAM devices better.

Burger and Beer emoji fixed in Android 8.1

A month back, we witnessed quite an uproar for incorrect burger and beer emojis by Google. The issue with burger emoji was that it showed the cheese slice below the patty while the beer emoji showed froth in half-filled beer glass. At that time, Sundar Pichai promised that he will look into the matter and fix it soon, and looks like he did fix it with Android 8.1. Check out the difference:

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Before:

Google Android 8.1 emoji

After:

Google Android 8.1 emoji

December security bulletin

December security bulletin that was released yesterday states that a total of 47 issues have been resolved in the security patch, 19 issues dated in 2017-12-01 and 28 in the 2017-12-05. On the other hand, security bulletin for Pixel and Nexus devices lists 48 additional fixes including the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability.

Here are the direct OTA links:

Factory Images – Direct Links:

 

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