A new developer preview has arrived! It is already reaching out to users through OTAs. However, if you’re not keen on waiting for it, you can follow this guide on how to install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your Pixel and Nexus device right now.
The release of another minor update has been in the charts for a week or so. And finally, today, Google has released Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview, which is bringing some new changes and features with it. Like the previous preview builds, this release is only limited to the supported Pixel and Nexus devices – Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. Following the instructions below, you will be able to install the Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your device by flashing the available system image.
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How to Install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview
The first preview release of Android 8.1 has been marked for today. It brings a small list of new features and several improvements. According to the program overview, the final build will be released in December. Until then, we shall also see Developer Preview 2 in November.
The purpose of this Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview is to test the new features and make improvements using the feedback provided by the users and developers. The list of new changes and features as mentioned on the Android Developers blog are as follows:
- Android Go improvements for better memory management.
- Neural Network API (NNAPI) for bringing machine intelligence to mobile devices.
- Improvements in the Autofill API.
- Shared Memory API for apps to share memory for faster access.
While these are the outlined changes, we can already see that there are many more changes in the system already, which include a revamped reboot menu and settings, dimming navbar, translucent quick settings and notification bar, and much more. We shall be covering all this in the coming articles. So wait for it.
In order to install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview through OTA, your device must be enrolled in the Android Beta Program. Then, you can go to the Settings -> System -> System update to check for the update. The rollout might take some time. So if the features excite you enough to install this preview right now, then follow the steps below.
Now, let’s go and help you install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your supported Pixel and Nexus devices.
- Installing the Developer Preview using the method below will wipe your device completely. So be smart and take a backup of your device first. You can follow our tutorial that will help you backup your phone completely.
- Charge your phone to a sufficient battery level to avoid any shutdowns during the flashing process.
- Enable USB debugging and set up ADB/Fastboot on your PC: Tutorial
Unlock The Bootloader
To install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your Pixel or Nexus device, it must first have an unlocked bootloader. If you already have it unlocked, then skip this section and move below to install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your device.
Go to Settings -> System -> Developer options and enable the OEM unlocking option.
- Power off your device completely.
- Press and hold the Volume Down + Power keys together to boot into the bootloader mode.
- Connect your phone to the PC using USB cable.
- Now, go to C:/adb folder where the fastboot and adb binaries are present.
- Right-click on an empty space and select “Open PowerShell window here” from the menu that appears.
- The PowerShell window will now open. Enter the following command to make sure that your device is successfully being detected by fastboot.
- The command should return a device ID, which indicates that all is good and you’re ready to proceed ahead.
- Now unlock the bootloader using the following command:
fastboot flashing unlock
- If you’re using a Pixel 2 XL, use the following command:
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
- The command should initiate the unlocking process and prompt you with a warning message. Simply highlight “Yes” using the volume keys and select it by pressing the power button.
- The device’s bootloader will unlock and it will reboot back into the bootloader mode.
Install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview (System Image)
The first step is to download Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview system image for your device. Go to the Developer Preview website and download the file corresponding to your device’s name.
- Once you have downloaded the file (e.g.angler-opp5.170921.005-factory-a45d3eab.zip for Nexus 6P), extract its content on your PC.
- You shall now see the extracted folder (E.g. angler-opp5.170921.005).
- Copy all the files from this folder to C:/adb where the fastboot files are present.
- Boot your Nexus/Pixel device into bootloader mode:
- Power off the phone completely.
- Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons until you see the bootloader screen.
- Connect your phone to the PC while it is in the bootloader mode.
- Now go to the C:/adb folder where all the files are present and ready for flashing.
- Double-click on the flash-all.bat file to install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview.
- A CMD/Command Prompt window will open and the flashing process will begin. So leave your device untouched and wait for the process to complete.
- Once done, your device will reboot automatically into the new Android 8.1 Developer Preview.
- You can disconnect the device now.
So you have succeeded to install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview on your device.
Go through the initial setup and enjoy the all-new features of this new preview. If you’re an app developer you can consider targeting the latest API 27 and perform testing on your device. You can also help in the development by reporting bugs in the Android Beta community.
If you have any questions regarding the flashing process, feel free to let us know via comments.