Welcoming Android 8.1 Oreo and Android Oreo (Go edition)

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

At href="https://www.blog.google/products/android/introducing-android-oreo-go-edition">Google
for India this Monday, we announced the final release of Android 8.1 Oreo.
Android 8.1 Oreo is another exciting step toward bringing to life our vision of
an AI-first mobile platform, for everyone, everywhere.

Android 8.1 introduces support for our new href="https://www.android.com/versions/oreo-8-0/go-edition/">Android Oreo (Go edition) software experience for entry-level
devices. Android Oreo (Go edition) brings the best of Android to the rapidly
growing market for low-memory devices around the world, including your apps and

Android 8.1 also introduces the href="https://developer.android.com/ndk/guides/neuralnetworks/index.html">Neural
Networks API
, a hardware accelerated machine learning runtime to
support ML capabilities in your apps. On supported devices, the Neural Networks
API enables fast and efficient inference for a range of key use cases, starting
with vision-based object classification.

You can get started with Android 8.1 Oreo (API level 27) today. We're pushing
sources to Android Open Source Project
now, and rolling out the update to supported Pixel and Nexus devices over the
next week. We're also working with our device maker partners to bring Android
8.1 to more devices, including Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, in the months

Android Oreo (Go edition)

As href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2VF8tmLFHw&t=1h29m36s">announced at
Google I/O 2017, the "Android Go" project is our initiative to optimize the
Android experience for billions of people coming online around the world.
Starting with Android 8.1, we're making Android a great platform for entry-level
devices in the Android Oreo (Go edition) configuration:

  • Memory optimizations -- Improved memory usage across the
    platform to ensure that apps can run efficiently on devices with 1GB or less
  • Flexible targeting options -- New href="https://developer.android.com/reference/android/content/pm/PackageManager.html#FEATURE_RAM_LOW">hardware
    feature constants to let you target the distribution of your apps to normal
    or low-RAM devices through Google Play.
  • Optimized Google apps: Rebuilt and optimized versions of
    Google apps, using less memory, storage space, and mobile data.
  • Google Play: While all apps will be available on Android
    Oreo (Go edition) devices, Google Play will give visibility to apps specifically
    optimized by developers to provide a great experience for billions of people
    with the href="https://developer.android.com/develop/quality-guidelines/building-for-billions.html">building
    for billions guidelines.

We've updated the building for billions guidelines with
additional guidance on href="https://developer.android.com/develop/quality-guidelines/building-for-billions-device-capacity.html#androidgo">how
to optimize your app for Android Oreo (Go edition) devices. For most
developers, optimizing your existing APK or using Google Play's href="https://developer.android.com/google/play/publishing/multiple-apks.html">Multiple
APK feature to target a version of your APK to low-RAM devices is the best
way to prepare for Android Oreo (Go edition) devices. Remember that href="https://medium.com/googleplaydev/shrinking-apks-growing-installs-5d3fcba23ce2">making
your app lighter and more efficient benefits your whole audience, regardless
of device.

Neural Networks API

The href="https://developer.android.com/ndk/guides/neuralnetworks/index.html">Neural
Networks API provides accelerated computation and inference for on-device
machine learning frameworks like href="https://www.tensorflow.org/mobile/tflite/">TensorFlow Lite -- Google's
cross-platform ML library for mobile -- as well as Caffe2 and others. TensorFlow
Lite is href="https://developers.googleblog.com/2017/11/announcing-tensorflow-lite.html">now
available to developers, so visit the href="https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tree/master/tensorflow/contrib/lite">TensorFlow
Lite open source repo for downloads and docs. TensorFlow Lite works with the
Neural Networks API to run models like href="https://research.googleblog.com/2017/06/mobilenets-open-source-models-for.html">MobileNets,
Inception v3, and href="https://research.googleblog.com/2017/11/on-device-conversational-modeling-with.html">Smart
Reply efficiently on your mobile device.

Autofill enhancements and more

Android 8.1 includes select href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/oreo/android-8.1.html">new
features and developer APIs (API level 27), along with the latest
optimizations, bug fixes, and security patches. Extend your app with href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/oreo/index.html">Autofill
enhancements, a href="https://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/SharedMemory.html">SharedMemory
API, and more. You can also add established Android Oreo features as well, see
the href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/oreo/android-8.0.html">Android
Oreo site for details.

Test your apps on Android 8.1

If haven't already, take a few moments today to test your apps and make sure
they offer the experience you want for users upgrading to Android 8.1 Oreo.

Just install your current app from Google Play onto a device or href="https://developer.android.com/studio/run/managing-avds.html">emulator
running Android Oreo and test the user flows. The app should run and look great,
and handle the Android Oreo href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/o/android-8.0-changes.html">behavior
changes properly. In particular, pay attention to href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/o/android-8.0-changes.html#abll">background
location limits, href="https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/notifiers/notifications.html#ManageChannels">notification
channels, and changes in href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/o/android-8.0-changes.html#networking-all">networking,
and href="https://developer.android.com/about/versions/o/android-8.0-changes.html#privacy-all">identifiers.

Speed your development with Android Studio

To build with Android 8.1, we recommend updating to href="https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/10/android-studio-30.html">Android
Studio 3.0, which is now href="https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html">available from the stable
channel. On top of the new app href="https://developer.android.com/studio/profile/android-profiler.html">performance
profiling tools, support for the href="http://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/05/android-announces-support-for-kotlin.html">Kotlin
programming language, and Gradle build optimizations, Android Studio 3.0
makes it easier to develop for Android Oreo features like href="https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/05/android-instant-apps-is-open-to-all.html">Instant
Apps, href="https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/look-and-feel/downloadable-fonts.html">XML
Fonts, href="https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/look-and-feel/downloadable-fonts.html">downloadable
fonts, and href="https://developer.android.com/guide/practices/ui_guidelines/icon_design_adaptive.html">adaptive

With the final platform we're updating the SDK and build tools in Android
Studio, as well as the API Level 27 emulator system images. We recommend
updating to the href="https://developer.android.com/topic/libraries/support-library/revisions.html?utm_campaign=android_launch_npreview_061516&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Android
Support Library 27.0.2, which is available from href="https://developer.android.com/studio/build/dependencies.html#google-maven">Google's
Maven repository. See the href="https://developer.android.com/topic/libraries/support-library/revisions.html#27-0-0">version
notes for details on what's new.

As always, we're providing downloadable factory and OTA images on the href="https://developers.google.com/android/images?utm_campaign=android_launch_androidnougat_120516&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Nexus
Images page to help you do final testing on your Pixel and Nexus devices.

Publish your updates to Google Play

When you're ready, you can publish your APK updates targeting API level 27 in
your alpha, beta, or production channels. Make sure that your updated app runs
well on Android Oreo as well as older versions. We recommend using href="https://developer.android.com/distribute/engage/beta.html?utm_campaign=android_launch_npreview_061516&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">beta
testing to get early feedback from a small group of users and a href="https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch/pre-launch-crash-reports.html">pre-launch
report to help you identify any issues, then do a href="https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch/progressive-updates.html">staged
rollout. Head over to the Android Developers site to find more info on href="https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch/launch-checklist.html">launch
best practices. We're looking forward to seeing your app updates!

What's next for Android Oreo?

We'll soon be closing the Developer Preview issue tracker, but please keep the
feedback coming! If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview
tracker, just file
a new issue
against Android 8.1 in the AOSP issue tracker. You can also
continue to give us feedback or ask questions in the href="https://plus.google.com/communities/105153134372062985968/stream/755bb91d-c101-4e32-9277-1e560c4e26d2">developer

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