Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Android 8.1 Oreo beta starts rolling out to the Essential Phone

Android 8.1 Oreo beta starts rolling out to the Essential Phone

Essential chose to skip Android 8.0 updates, instead focusing only on Android 8.1.

Essential's first attempt to bring Oreo for the PH-1 was based on Android 8.0, but it included some issues behind the scenes that gave the company reason to pause on the public rollout.

This new update brings Oreo features as well as some new Essential-specific fixes and tweaks. The first beta build of Android 8.l Oreo is being pushed OTA (over the air) to those who've been using beta builds of Android 8.0.

Android 8.1 Oreo beta starts rolling out to the Essential Phone

The update - which again is only through their beta program - includes things like picture-in-picture mode, smart text selection, faster startups, etc., just like you would have received with Android 8.0. Otherwise, you'll have to download the file from Essential's website and flash it manually on your smartphone. The 8.1 beta will presumably be added to the developer site soon. Consult our Oreo guide for all the baked-in features of the operating system.

Essential says in a tweet that a beta patch is in place in this update for scrolling issues that have plagued the phone for months. What this means is that the clock and calendar icons will show the time and date as the homescreen or notification bar. However, Essential seems to have found a solution to address one of the phone's biggest bugs. Also, like on the Pixel Launcher, the phone's theme now switches between dark and light depending on your wallpaper.


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