Google has rolled out Android 8.1 Oreo to its eligible Pixel and Nexus device already. HMD has also pushed Android 8.1 Oreo Beta to Nokia 8 devices enrolled to Beta Labs. While Google has only listed the changes in APIs important to developers in the release notes, we were able to notice some UI changes and improvements in Android 8.1 Oreo over Android 8.0 Oreo.
Android 8.1 Oreo UI/UX changes hands-on:
Android 8.1 Oreo new features/changes:
- Translucent notification center and taskbar. Taskbar shows the underlying color of the page. Check the video above.
- Notification center gets dark/light theme on the basis of Wallpaper set by user
- Settings have undergone many UI tweaks including in top search toolbar
- Power menu has undergone a revamp and now looks similar to that available on latest Pixel 2 smartphones
- You can now disable “App is running in the background” and “Drawing over other apps” notifications just like other notifications.
- The status bar has also seen some changes including increased padding on both sides
- New corrected Hamburger Emoji
- Bluetooth device battery levels in the Quick Settings panel when a Bluetooth accessory is connected to your phone
Android 8.1 Oreo important API changes/features:
- The Neural Networks API (NNAPI) provides apps with hardware acceleration for on-device machine learning operations. The API supports on- device model creation, compilation, and execution. Apps typically do not use NNAPI directly; instead, NNAPI is meant to be called by machine learning libraries, frameworks, and tools that let developers train their models and deploy them on Android devices.
- Apps can now only make a notification alert sound once per second. Alert sounds that exceed this rate aren’t queued and are lost. This change doesn’t affect other aspects of notification behavior and notification messages still post as expected.
- Android 8.1 (API level 27) adds two new hardware-feature constants,
FEATURE_RAM_NORMAL, to Package Manager. These constants allow you target the distribution of your apps and APK splits to normal- or low-RAM devices.These constants enable the Play store to promote a better user experience by highlighting apps especially well-suited to the capabilities of a given device