The latest developer preview promises to bring to life the Pixel Visual Core that the latest Pixel 2 devices comes with but has so far been lying dormant.
The Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 is officially out now, with factory images of the same now available for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices. And as was being actively speculated, the new update finally contains the requisite code that fires up the Pixel Visual Core coprocessor.
For starters, the Pixel Visual Core coprocessor aids in efficient processing of the image signal to allow for better photography. Developed in collaboration with Intel, the coprocessor uses AI and machine learning tech and is singularly aimed at image processing, thereby promising better photography each time.
Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 Xl come with the dedicated image processing chip but have been latent so far. The new update should be able to justify its existence finally, which also means the already excellent cameras on the latest Pixel phones still has room for improvement.
Developers will also be able to make good use of the Pixel Visual Core so that shots taken by even third-party apps will be close to what the default cam is capable of. In other words, all apps will now have a level playing field in delivering HDR+ quality shots with the latest Pixel 2 phones.
Among the other notable inclusion in the Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 include a Neural networks API which provides for boosting the performance of the device for on-device machine learning. Then there is also a Shared Memory API included in the update, one that caters to a low-end device with up to 1 GB of RAM.
Besides, the latest update also comes with the usual bug fixes too, along with the November security update as well. Additionally, there is also the Android 8.1 system images for Pixel and Nexus devices, one that Google described as ‘near final.’
The above update is valid for the following devices: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.
How to download the Android 8.1 Developer Preview Update
One should be a member of the Android Beta program to be eligible for the Developer Preview update. Those who are already part of it should be getting a notification with the option to install the update OTA. Another method to download the update will be to flash the compatible Nexus or Pixel devices by installing the appropriate factory image.
As for the official release of Android 8.1, it should still be a couple of weeks before it makes to the general public.