Google has outed an update to its latest 8.0 Oreo, the Android Oreo 8.1. This is the first maintenance update to Android 8.0 that brings modest improvement to the UI, fixes some critical bugs and make some tidbits of changes that should enhance user experience.

The official rollout of Android Oreo 8.1 will begin from December onwards, however, if you are a beta Android user or the holder of certain Nexus and Pixel devices, you can test this developer preview version now.

Listing down 9 changes Android Oreo 8.1 brings to the table:

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Wi-Fi Signal Strength and Speed

Google has added a new feature in its Android 8.1 Oreo update. Users with 8.1 installed can now see estimated network signal speed and strength prior to logging in. The network speed and strength will be judged in four parameters: Very Fast, Fast, OK and Slow.

If you don’t want to see network speed, you can turn it off by going to Settings> Network & Internet> Wi-Fi> Wi-Fi Preferences> Advanced> Network Rating Provider> None.

Reduce Inactive App Size

Android 8.1 Oreo adds a space-saving feature that will mark apps you haven’t used for a while as ‘Inactive’ and reduce their Cache size whenever your phone starts running out of storage. The feature will, however, have to be manually enabled by manufacturers.

Battery saving Navigation buttons

Credits: /u/adrianj93

In the updated version of the Android Oreo, navigational buttons come with an auto-dimming feature that automatically lowers their brightness when the screen is not touched for some time. Also, the navigational bar looks more compact and has smaller icons.

Revamped Power Menu

The power menu that pops-up after a long press of power button has been given a new touch. The new update features power menu on the side of the screen, which is to say that you won’t have to stretch your muscle to switch off your phone.

A New Settings Menu

Android 8.0(left) and Android 8.1 (Right) Credits:

The new update to settings menu adds white-color-filled navigation buttons and an edge to edge search bar on top. It looks very much similar to what we saw on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Bluetooth Battery Percentage

Android 8.1 has got a built-in support for Bluetooth battery level, which was earlier supported in OEM skins like EMUI and custom ROMs like LineageOS. You can see the battery status of connected devices in the status bar.

Sleep-time WiFi on Feature Removed

Google has ditched the ‘keep WiFi on during sleep option’ from the upgrade. This means that your device will remain connected to WiFi while your phone is in sleep mode. Pretty much how most of us prefer it to be.

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Adjustable SystemUI Theme

Credits: reddit user adrianj93

The quick setting bar that glides down from the top edge gets adaptive quick settings. In the update, the quick setting bar is not only transparent but also adapts to a lighter or darker shade depending upon your home screen’s wallpaper.

Reminder for Phone Setup

As seen on the Pixel 2, if you’ve skipped through phone setup processor during the first boot, a colored notification will remind you to finish setting up your phone.

Oreo Easter Egg

Not necessary, yet an interesting change. The Android Easter egg, which you see after tapping on Android version in “About phone” 7 times, now showcase Oreo cookie instead of orange “O” icon.

9 Changes introduced with Android 8.1 Oreo

As you can see, most of these changes will go unnoticed, but Google has also included a ton of improvements and fixes in the background that should have an impact on the overall experience. If you are using pixel phones, Google has also added AR stickers and has enabled its Pixel Visual Core for faster camera processing with the new update.

Last updated on: January 23, 2018

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