Google Nexus 5X and 6P flagships received the Android 8.0 Oreo update recently and the next big update is Android 8.1. The Search giant released the first developer preview of Android 8.1 on 25th October. So the Beta registered Nexus 5X and 6P devices have been updated to Android 8.1 through OTA. But as this not the final version of Android 8.1 and still in beta stage, users may experience some serious bugs like random reboots and so on.
Google already announced in their Blog, the final official release probably happen in December. So LG Nexus 5X and Huawei 6P devices will receive the Android 8.1 update by the end of December through OTA. Factory images of the update might be available earlier than the Over the Air (OTA) rollout.
If we look at the previous rollouts for the 2015 flagships from Google, Android 7.1.1 rollout for Nexus 5X and 6P began on 5th December, 2016 and Android 7.1.2 rollout started in April.
Although the upcoming Android update might not be a major update like Oreo, but it contains some interesting features like Bluetooth Battery levels and Neural networks API.
Google implemented the Neural Networks API feature in Android Operating system for the first time through Android 8.1 update. With the Neural networks API, higher-level machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow lite, Caffe2 are improved by providing a base layer of functionality.
The next Android update facilitates Machine learning by mere use of CPU and without using network. The Data collected won’t leave the device, so protecting the Privacy of user. But due to the use CPU by neural network API, quick drain of Battery is expected, if the apps are not optimized properly. Till the moment, no Nexus 5X and 6P users updated to the Android 8.1 Beta, haven’t reported any battery life issues.
Bluetooth Battery levels is another elgant feature of the update which enhances user experience. The Feature already available to iPhone users through iOS and will arrive to Nexus 5X and 6P users through the forthcoming update. In Android 8.1, users can easily check the battery level of the bluetooth connected to device by just swiping down on the screen to open Quick Settings toggle. A small battery icon is present besides the Bluetooth icon in Quick Settings.
Google shifted the place of power menu to right edge of the screen and also redesigns it in the Android 8.1 update. The search giant introduced the newly designed Power Menu with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL flagships. Now the revamped power menu which consists of Power Off and Restart options came to Nexus 5X and 6P devices. The original Pixel and Pixel XL flagships will also get the newer Pixel power menu with the Android 8.1 update.
The beta testers can also enable the Bug report button in the Power menu through developer options. The UI of the Bug Report button is some what broken and needs to be improved.
Google has taken another step towards the preventing of unnecessary battery drain by apps through Android 8.1. In the Android 8.1 Battery section, the apps which are draining excess battery juice are highlighted with red warning battery mark.
The feature also tells how the app is draining excess battery. When the user taps on the app in battery section, it will display how the app is draining the battery. For example, Maps Preview and Tiles app is draining by Location requests. So the user can turnoff the location requests for the app and prevent battery drain, but that also inhibits the app from funtioning.
Editor’s Pick : Android 8.1 Oreo for Sony Xperia XZ and X is coming soon
Android 8.1 Oreo contains a new feature to reduce the size of inactive apps in low-storage conditions. This features helps to increase free space in when the storage is low. In Nexus 5X and 6P devices, Android 8.1 update first identify which apps haven’t been used recently and when storage is low, then the system clears the cache of the inactive apps to increase free space and work efficiently. Google may improve this feature further in the Android P update.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android 8.1 update for Nexus 5X and 6P devices.
Update on 5/12/2017 :
The Security Bulletin of December month has released, a few hours ago. According to 9to5Google, Google releases the security bulletin a day before the rollout of the Android update. The Android 8.1 update will be released tomorrow, Wccftech suggests. The version number of the update is OPM1.171019.011, as revealed by Verizon. The update contains the latest December security patch including KRACK fix and other fixes for other vulnerabilities, according to Phonearena.
So in a few hours, the Nexus 5X and 6P users will be able to download the Android 8.1 factory images from the official website. The OTA rollout of Android 8.1 will begin soon after the release of Factory images. The users can check for the updates manually by heading to Settings>About Phone>System Updates. The full changelog of the update will be revealed shortly.
Update on 12/1/2018 :
It seems that the Android 8.1 update brought a bug which annoys users very much. Based on reports at Google product forums, Android 8.1 contains a bug which causes swiping issues on lock screen. A large number of Google Pixel and Nexus users are affected by this bug. Google says that they are looking into the issue. So a patch to the Swipe bug may arrive in coming days.
In Google Pixel and Nexus 5X, 6P devices which got the Android 8.1 update, users are unable to unlock because lock screen is not responding to swipes. Multiple swipe ups are required to unlock the device. So the Android 8.1 partially ruins the user experience, despite the buttery smooth scrolling. More details about the patch will be revealed in coming days.