Following last week’s release of the final developer preview, Android 8.1 is now officially available for current Pixel and Nexus devices. The latest version of Android brings some of the visual changes and features found on the Pixel 2 to the rest of Google’s lineup. Meanwhile, there are various bug fixes and changes for developers to take advantage of.

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On the visual front, many of the new interface redesigns introduced with the Pixel 2 are brought over to older Google devices. This includes the Pixel Launcher with a new bottom search bar and At a Glance widget. Quick settings is transparent, while there is a new floating power menu, and light/dark themes for the launcher and system UI depending on the set wallpaper.

The navigation bar in various apps, like Settings, is now lighter to combat the Pixel 2 XL’s burn-in/screen retention issues and quickly dims when not in use. Touch responsiveness issues and audio recording bugs during video capture have also been addressed. Other visual changes include a proper Oreo Easter Egg and a cool tint on lockscreen and homescreen that is again based on your wallpaper.

For developers, Android 8.1 and API Level 27 allows for third-parties to take advantage of the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2, as well as a new Neural networks API for hardware accelerating on-device machine learning. For Android Go, two new hardware-feature constraints will allow developers to better target their apps for low-RAM devices.

There are 19 issues resolved in the December security patch dated 2017-12-01 and 28 in the 2017-12-05 one. The dedicated bulletin for Google’s phones and tablets lists 48 additional fixes, including those for the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability.

The full download and OTA links are below. If you need help, check out our guides on how to flash a factory image or sideload an OTA.


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