Update (14:01): Earlier today, Google announced during its Android Go unveiling that the consumer-ready version of Android 8.1 would roll out today. Now, Google’s David Burke has released a blog post officially announcing the new version of Android.
The blog post didn’t include much new information. Google says developers can get started with Android 8.1 Oreo (API level 27) starting today, and that the update is being pushed out to AOSP now. The update should make its way to the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X over the next week or so.
Original article (02:28): As part of the Android Go Edition announcement, Google revealed that the final, stable release of Android 8.1 Oreo will be rolling out to users starting today, December 5. Google is keeping its promise to release Android 8.1 to the public by the end of the year.
Android 8.1 was first launched as a developer preview on October 25, bringing improvements to the way Android handles multiple notification alerts and a bevy of under-the-hood features aimed at developers.
The second developer preview landed just a week ago, and was mostly a stability update containing bug fixes and optimizations. However, this “near-final” release included one long-awaited (and delayed) feature – developer access to the Visual Core image processing chip inside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Thanks to this, camera app developers will be able to improve their apps to take full advantage of the unique hardware found on Google’s smartphones.
Starting today, Android 8.1 will roll out to the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X, no side-loading or beta access required.
We will update our coverage with links to the official Android 8.1 Oreo factory images and OTA update files, once they go live later today. Stay tuned!
Officially launching with Android 8.1, Google also introduced today the Android Go edition of Oreo. Designed for devices with less than 1GB of RAM, Android Go comprises an optimized and lean version of Android, a set of pared-down Google apps, and a special version of the Play Store that highlights Android Go-optimized apps. The new Android experience will be coming to devices in the coming months. Google introduced the new Android version at its Google For India event.