On Wednesday, October 25, Google released the developer preview for Android 8.1 Oreo. The next version of the newly-released mobile operating system is slated to roll out to the public in December this year.

The early preview of the Android 8.1 Oreo comes with a number of upgrades, which include a new Neural Networks API and enhancements for Android Go, a service rolled out for devices with 1 GB or less memory capacity. The new Neural Networks API will make it possible for the on-device machine intelligence to work faster than before. Apart from these two enhancements, Google revealed in a blog post that it is also including some minor upgrades to Android O’s next version.

These have been made keeping user and developer feedback in mind.

What else will it include?

Dave Burke, Vice President of engineering at Google, shared in a blog post that the developer preview not only comes with new features, but also houses new APIs. The update also includes security patches and bug fixes. Burke shared that among the new APIs, Google has added new hardware constants for Android Go users. This will aid them in sharing apps and APK splits to other low RAM devices running on the Android 8.1 Oreo and above versions in the near future.

Google will also introduce a new Neural Networks API to facilitate the functioning of machine intelligence on the platform. This has been added to the software update via NDK and will permit hardware-accelerated inference operations on devices running on Android.

The Mountain View-based company has also enhanced the Autofill API feature, which it introduced with Oreo.

Thanks to the new upgrades, Google claims it would now be easier for other Autofill services and password managers to use Oreo’s Autofill framework. Google revealed that the developer preview comes with additional UI customization support for Autofill services’ Save dialog feature.

Last but not the least, the preview also comes with shared memory API. The company claims that this new API will enable installed applications to allot shared memory on their own for quicker access to common data.

Who will get the preview?

The developer’s preview will be available only to owners of Google-branded smartphones such as Pixel, Pixel Xl, Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X.

App developers can also load the preview, or download and flash it via the Android emulator. To get access to the developer preview’s early release, one has to enroll in the Android Beta Program to receive the OTA update.