Google isn’t talking about the next version of Android Oreo but the Android 8.1 Oreo update appears to have been confirmed ahead of an official announcement.
The Android 8.0 Oreo update carriers are planning to roll out to Nexus devices later this month could become obsolete in just a few short weeks.
Google hasn’t confirmed the next version of Android Oreo but it sure looks like it could be Android 8.1. References to the update have been spotted inside the latest Google app beta, v7.11.
With evidence starting to mount we want to outline what we know, and think we know, about the rumored Android 8.1 Oreo update.
Android 8.1 Oreo Update
The recent Google app teardown from Android Police reveals the following line of code:
Nothing is confirmed but this likely means the Android 8.1 SDK (Software Development Kit) is already in the hands of developers.
The reference doesn’t confirm Android 8.1, that will take an official announcement from Google, but it certainly leaves the door wide open.
As of right, it looks like Android 8.1 Oreo will be Google’s next Android update. And believe it or not, a release could be right around the corner.
Android 8.1 Release Date
The code obviously doesn’t reveal a specific Android 8.1 release date but we can make a very educated guess based on Google’s Android release patterns.
Last year, Google released an Android 7.1 Nougat update alongside its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Android 7.0 rolled out in August (like Android 8.0) and Android 7.1 rolled out in October.
Google’s rumored to have two new Pixel 2 devices up its sleeve for October and we could see Android 8.1 roll out around the time it announces the new flagships.
The company put its Android 7.1 update into beta so don’t be surprised if we get an Android 8.1 Developer Preview before the final release.
Google followed its Android 7.1 release with an Android 7.1.1 update in December and an Android 7.1.2 update in April. Android 7.1.2 was the last version of Nougat.
Android 8.1 for Nexus 6P & Nexus 5X
Android Oreo might be the last major Android update for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P but don’t expect the devices to miss Android 8.1 if and when it rolls out.
Google says it can’t guarantee Android version updates to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X after September 2017. So unless Android P rolls out soon, these devices probably won’t get it.
With that said, the company says it plans to roll out security patches to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X through September 2018 which means they should get a full year of Android Oreo builds.
We expect both devices to get Android 8.1 but don’t be surprised if they lag behind Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL. Pixel Android 8.0 OTAs have started going out but many Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X users are still waiting for the Android Oreo prompt to appear.
At least one carrier plans to roll the Nexus 6P Android 8.0 Oreo update out on September 11th.
What You Can Expect from Android 8.1
The teardown doesn’t reveal the Android 8.1 change log but last year’s Android 7.1 release helps to set expectations.
Google’s point updates typically bring a little more than security patches and bug fixes. So while we expect Android 8.1 to include security enhancements and fixes for problems affecting Nexus and Pixel devices, we expect to see a few features as well.
Last year’s Android 7.1 Nougat update delivered Google Daydream VR support, expanded emoji support, Night Light, and some other changes.
Don’t expect the change log to be on par with Android 8.0’s but we expect it to be a little bit bigger than your standard MR (Maintenance Release) update.
9 Things to Know About the Nexus 6P Android Oreo Update
Nexus 6P Android 8.0 Oreo Release (OTA)
Last week, the Nexus 6P Android Oreo update started rolling out to a select group. If you were running the Android O beta on your device you should’ve received a prompt to install the official version of Android Oreo. The final version is a shade under 1GB.
Its been a little over a week since the start of Google’s roll out and the Nexus 6P Android Oreo release still hasn’t reached everyone. That should change soon.
When Google first announced the Nexus 6P Android Oreo update it noted that Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds had entered carrier testing and that roll outs would begin in the near future.
Google recently posted the Nexus 6P Android 8.0 factory images which means OTAs should start moving out to users around the world. While some of you might get the update today or tomorrow, others won’t.
One Canadian carrier, Rogers, claims it will roll the Nexus 6P Android 8.0 Oreo update out on September 11th. Australian carrier Optus has also confirmed plans to roll out a Nexus 6P Android Oreo update.
Google’s Over-the-Air roll outs usually take a few weeks to complete. We usually see a small batch of users get the update before its released worldwide so you’ll need to remain patient.