Update 6:25 PM EST – Essential mentioned in the AMA that the kernel source for the PH-1 would be coming soon, and it's just been released. Check it out here.
Although the Essential Phone is far from perfect, one thing that's worth commending Essential as a company for is its transparency between customers. The Essential team recently started to host AMAs over on Reddit to answer any questions that its customers have to ask, and in this week's session, a lot of details were shared regarding Android Oreo for the Essential Phone, a new night mode, and bug fixes galore.
Regarding Android 8.0 Oreo, Essential confirmed that its quality assurance team is currently testing a build of Oreo for the PH-1 and that it hopes to release a public beta for users to download within "several weeks." Essential says that it will make an announcement once the beta is available, but that's as specific of a timeline that we have for the time being.
Once Oreo does drop for the Essential Phone, it will also bring a highly-requested night mode that should make using the device in the dark much easier on the eyes. Speaking of new features, the next OTA update that's released for the PH-1 will bring fingerprint gestures for controlling certain aspects of the UI (similar to what's found on the Pixel).
An Android 8.0 Oreo beta will be available for the Essential Phone in "several weeks."
Along with these new features and upgrades, Essential also says that it's working hard on bug fixes for its phone. The biggest issue that a lot of users are facing at the moment has to do with poor touch responsiveness and jitters when navigating through the user interface, and fixes are in the works.
In one post, an Essential employee said:
Hi everyone. Since multiple people are asking below yes we are aware of the issue related to the display touch scrolling jitteriness and have a patch we are testing internally. I saw the fix in action literally yesterday and the improvement is night and day. I think you guys will be really happy with it. Our plan is to get this out in one of the next upcoming OTA updates releasing a few weeks. Stay tuned!
Essential also addressed the release of system images, delays for the white model of the phone, and plenty more. You can check out the full AMA here if you want to read through the entire thing, and assuming that the company sticks to its schedule, it'll be hosting its next session on October 18.
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