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android 8.1 oreo


Netflix picture-in-picture makes its way to Android 8.1 Oreo with latest app version [APK Download]

The picture-in-picture feature was first introduced to Android with the O developer previews, but it didn't get off to a great start, namely because crucial apps like YouTube didn't support it properly. Netflix was one of those apps, but Android 8.1 has added official support for Netflix PiP.

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Android 8.1 OTAs rolling out to beta users while manual OTA files temporarily on hold due to flashing errors

The images for the Android 8.1 developer preview may have gone live yesterday, but it took a full day for the OTA update to start rolling out. If you signed up for the Android Beta Program on a compatible device, you should see the 8.1 developer preview update hit your device soon.

On that note, Google also seems to have pulled the manual OTA file downloads for the 8.1 developer preview, so right now your only options for migrating to the developer preview are registering for the Android Beta Program and waiting for the update, or flashing from the full factory images onto an unlocked bootloader. 

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Status bar icons are now rounded and have padding on the left and right

Google had rounded status bar icons in its phones' marketing materials for the Pixel, though the devices came with regular, squared-off icons in reality. But with the introduction of 8.1, we're finally getting legitimately rounded icons in the status bar, even if the change is extremely hard to notice. There's also now padding on the left and right sides of the status bar icons, regardless of whether it's necessary for your particular device.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Toast messages are now white to better match the rest of the UI

Those of you who are fans of darker themes on software won't be happy with this change we've discovered in the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview: toast messages now have a lighter, inverted theme. This was likely done in order to match the rest of the much whiter user interface, which the gray toasts didn't really go with.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' option removed, as on the Pixel 2

If you have an incredibly detailed memory, you may recall as far back as around 24 hours ago, when we talked about how the "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep" setting was apparently removed for the Pixel 2s. We felt that it was a confusing, unnecessary, and potentially unintentional change, but Google is doubling down. With the latest Android 8.1 developer preview images, the option is now missing on more than just the Pixel 2, likely confirming that the change was intended. 

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[Update: Not all devices] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: The sRGB toggle has been removed entirely from Developer options

Calibrated color has been a hot topic recently for both Android and the Pixel 2 phones, and the Android 8.1 developer previews indicate more changes on the horizon. As of the current preview images, the "Picture color mode" sRGB toggle in Developer options has been removed. This change makes devices like the OG Pixels and last-generation Nexuses match the new Pixel 2 and 2XL, which similarly lack the setting since a calibrated mode is the default. 

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings gets a search bar on top à la Pixel 2

In the past couple of years, many apps have traded small search icons for full-width search bars. The Google Play Store is a prime example of this, and it makes hitting the search button much easier. To my eye, it improves the appearance of the app as well, but that's subjective. The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview has brought the top-mounted search bar to all devices, marking another Pixel 2-exclusive lost.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Bluetooth battery level comes to all devices, now shows battery bar in Quick Settings

Not all of us are huge fans of iOS, but there's one thing that Apple's mobile operating system gets very right: Bluetooth battery levels. This feature made its formal Android debut on the Pixel 2, and it's now coming to all Android devices with the Android 8.1 developer preview. It also brings the battery level to Quick Settings, which will definitely come in handy.

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[Update: Dimming is system-wide] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings now has a colored navigation bar that dims

The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview dropped today, and with it come some new features that we've been discovering. One of the more prominent changes we've spotted so far is to the navigation bar while it's in the Settings app. On both Pixel and Nexus devices, the soft keys get a few aesthetic tweaks that modernize the software's look just a little bit.

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