Google has started the rollout of Android 8.1 Developer Preview for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices. Google has also made system images available for compatible devices such as Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.
Interested users with compatible devices can get access to the latest Developer Preview through two ways: first is by enrolling their device in automatic OTA system updates through the Android Beta Program that will allow regular over-the-air (OTA) updates to pop up for all the Android 8.1 Developer Preview builds, and secondly by downloading a DeveloperPreview system image and flashing the device. Note, that OTA updates are not provided automatically for devices that are flashed manually.
The Android 8.1 Developer Preview brings a ton of changes. The latest Android 8.1 will now allow apps to make only one notification alert sound per second as alert sounds that exceed this rate aren't queued and are lost. Google says that this change doesn't affect other aspects of notification behaviour and notification messages still post as expected. The Settings page is receiving a refresh and will sport coloured navigation bar that dims when scrolled towards the bottom. Android Police points out that the dimming the buttons in all apps and is not just Settings. Another minor change is icon for Android System notifications which usually notifies updates on the device.
A major upgrade is coming to Bluetooth setting which will now show battery level in Quick Settings which means you can view connected Bluetooth accessory battery level from the Quick Settings toggle. Android Police adds that the feature is already available on the Pixel 2. The Android 8.1 Developer Preview will also introduce a new Search bar on top of the Settings page which was so far limited to the new Pixel devices. The new developer build also removes sRGB toggle from the device which was listed in Developer options. The Android 8.1 also most likely removes the feature called 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' which was available under Wi-Fi preferences. Other minor changes introduced with Android 8.1 include a new Oreo Easter egg and the automatic light and dark themes have been removed from the new developer build. Android Police also reported a new power menu design on the Android 8.1 which comes with bug report button.