Android 8.1 Oreo: Google’s new OS
Android 8.1 Oreo may be a minor maintenance release after the major update of Android 8.0, but, Google’s new OS update crams in enough changes/features under the hood to warrant an upgrade. Android 8.1 Oreo, which is now rolling out for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, the Pixel 1 and 1 XL, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus 6P and 5X, makes a classic case for machine learning and AI. The biggest feature in Android 8.1 Oreo is a new Neural Networks API (NNAPI), which is “designed for running computationally intensive operations for machine learning on mobile devices.” Both new and incumbent phones — running Android 8.1 — can benefit from this, according to Google. The Pixel 2 (and the Pixel 2 XL) is notably the first phone in the world to ship with special machine-learning hardware that can hardware accelerate this API. Google has re-worked on almost its entire suit of apps, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Play, Gboard, and Chrome, for Android Go even as more and more developers are lending their support for the platform.