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Google Rolls Out Final Android 8.1 Preview

Fresh on the heels of the big Android 8.0 Oreo release, Google has rolled out a final Android 8.1 preview before the new point release ships next month.

"Android 8.1 adds targeted enhancements to the Oreo platform, including optimizations for Android Go (for devices with 1GB or less of memory) and a Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence," exec Dave Burke said in a blog post this week.

The Neural Networks API boosts computation and inference for on-device machine learning frameworks such as Google's TensorFlow Lite and third-party offerings such as Caffe2 and others.

The final preview also features nearly complete system images for Pixel and Nexus devices, along with new optimizations and bug fixes and recent security patch updates.

One new feature specifically for Pixel 2 users is the enablement of Pixel Visual Core, a custom-designed co-processor for image processing and machine learning, which can be switched on via a new developer option.

With Android 8.1 launching next month, Burke advised developers to test their current apps now to ensure a seamless transition by enrolling eligible devices in the Android Beta program.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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