Google Confirms Android 8.1 Coming Soon To Pixel Phones

Google has confirmed that the first major update to Android Oreo is in development, it will bring it up to Android 8.1 and, naturally, is planned to land on all the Pixel smartphones first (that’s both first-gen Pixel and Pixel XL, and second-gen Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL).

It’s not far off either, Google promises it will arrive “in the coming weeks,” as part of an official blog post on te Pixel 2 camera technology.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL use Google’s first bespoke dedicated image signal co-processor, dubbed Pixel Visual Core. Google says it is faster and has lower-latency on all imaging and camera related tasks, as well as being more power efficient. These improvements are particularly relevant to HDR+ camera features.

Why is this relevant? Well although the Visual Core is already built-in on the Pixel 2 series, it is not enabled right now. The co-processor will be enabled as a developer option as part of the Android 8.1 Oreo (MR1) developer preview build which will arrive in the next few weeks, ahead of the full version distribution.

After that, it will be unlocked for third-party apps, for example, Instagram, via Android’s built-in Camera API. That’ll mean full HDR+ enabled applications

Google is yet to reveal what other changes will be made in Android 8.1, but we’re sure although Visual Core enabling will be major one, it will not be the only one.

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