Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview Features



Once again Google has surprised us with the release of 8.1 Oreo beta programme for developers and planning to release the 8.1 to all other devices in December. Anyone with the devices listed below with an unlocked bootloader can test the developer preview which is going to get rolled over OTA and also via the flashable system images.

Devices which can get Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview.

  1. Nexus 5
  2. Nexus 6P
  3. Pixel C
  4. Pixel
  5. Pixel XL
  6. Pixel 2
  7. Pixel 2 XL

In this minor update, Google is bringing Pixel 2 core features with Android 8.1 to all other pixel models and nexus lineup. Let’s dig into the article to know about those features which got added in this Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview.

Features which got added in Android 8.1 beta update:

Speeding the booting times

Android 8.0 oreo update was itself a big leap over booting speed times of Android 7 or Android 6. Well, Android 8.1 has added some more cheese on top of it, by reducing almost a couple of seconds in booting. Google had also implemented a new boot logo animation.

A New Power menu

Hold the power button and you will get a smooth pop in of power menu from the right side which is very clean and definitive with enough boundaries. The reason for this change is to reduce the utilization of both hands and focusing on a single hand use, this is a subtle and very nifty change in this update.

Pixel 2 search bar

The very prominent thing you see as the system loads up is the google search bar just above the adaptive navigation icons. It used to be part of one of the interesting Pixel 2 feature which has been added into the Android 8.1. Google had implemented this feature as a system inbuilt, thus letting people not to use any other google launcher apps or widget apps to get this Search bar.

Permanent Calendar, Weather Information, and Events

This is one of the interesting features in this update. A new permanent calendar, weather, and events information on top which is replacing the granny google search bar of Android 7/8.0. It is really a new intimating feature to see because now you can check the upcoming events which get popped up just above the date and temperature info. This wraps up that Google is integrating its Google calendar features which shows up on the home screen. No notifications, no alarms, everything is familiar and you know what to be done as you can check the event information or even your To Do list.

Navigation Bar Dimming

Battery saving Navigation buttons
Credits: /u/adrianj93


As you all are aware of screen burning in OLED devices, Google had taken a step to get rid of such situations with this update. The navigational icons disregard of their theme (light/black) gets dimmed once they aren’t been using for a time period (Usually around 2/3sec). With this dimming effect, the usage of the pixels at that particular points is going to get regulated which will certainly be going to help in getting rid of Screen burning issues.

Notification Panel or Quick Settings

Just a swipe down on the home screen from the top will get you the brand new notification panel or quick settings panel. You will see a major difference in the background styling, it is an adaptive translucent notification shade. You can see whats running in the background so clearly. The translucency is either light black or light white in looking.

Bluetooth Battery Indicator – UTHF*

In the notification panel, you can see new Bluetooth Battery Indicator just beside the Bluetooth logo. It indicates the live battery percentage of the Bluetooth device which has been connected to your device.

Adaptive API Powered Theme Styling

This is one of the best features which has been added into this preview so far, it is powered with their new API’s which are not only adaptive with their own system but also to the third part system launchers. So, when you change your regular wallpaper or live wallpaper, the API will detect the major color gamut of that wallpaper, then will adapt or change the backgrounds of apps folder, volume menu, app drawer, notifications panel, and power menu either into a black translucent or a white translucent.

Settings Search Bar

A New Settings Menu
Android 8.0(left) & Android 8.1 (Right) Credits: AndroidHeadlines

The search bar on top was quite a prominent feature in 8.0, whereas in 8.1 the search bar has been spread finely which covers the full width in the settings are. It shows that Google is focusing more on easing the difficulties in how the user gonna hand the device.

Android Oreo Cookie Easter Egg

Android Oreo Cookie Easter Egg
Credits: SmartPrix Blog


Finally, Google included the Oreo Cookie as Easter Egg in the settings >> about section. And the octopus is similar but with just a little bit zoom in view.

Other System New Features – UTHF

oreo logo – Now system notifications will have b/w oreo logo, which stands out easily and lets the users know that system notification needed to be fulfilled or cleared first.

Notification Sounds – As if you’re getting a lot of messages or other notification, you’ll get annoyed with continuous beeping. Now onwards with this 8.1 oreo update, even if you’re getting a bunch of notifications at once, only one notification sound per second will be allowed.

System font – System font now has been changed from Roboto to Product Sans. It looks good and so does Roboto.

Features which got removed in Android 8.1 beta update:

Always on wifi settings – Google was experimenting with battery usage and background processes. Well, for now, they have removed Always On Wifi Settings feature, now when your phone is on sleep, it simply gets disconnected from wifi. It shows that Google is interested in battery saving more than keeping the notifications updated.

Picture Color Mode or sRGB Color Settings – Again a unique feature has got removed from the system and this time it is sRGB Color settings. Now you’re stuck with what you get with the inbuilt color theme and you have no option playing for tweaking with the colors.

Persistent Notifications – One very annoying feature which got removed was Persistent Notification of Android 8.0 oreo. Persistent notifications used to show the background processes in the notification toggle. There used to be an option whether you show it in notification bar or not. But it was still an unused feature most of the time, so Google just ditched it to save some space.

Note: UTHF* - Under The Hood Features.

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