Back in the swing of releases.
Just in time for some of us to get settled in with Android 8.0, Google has announced that the Android 8.1 Developer Preview is now available. The latest software is available for testing on modern Nexuses and Pixels — that means the Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel XL, Pixel, Pixel C, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are all listed here.
You can download the factory image for your device from Google's developer page if you want to have that software right away. If you need a refresher on the steps, follow our helpful guide on manually updating your Pixel or Nexus!
Update: It looks as though many people are having issues with the manual update process on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, likely due to a bad file upload. We're having the same issues here — it may be a good idea to wait this one out for a bit rather than trying to force it.
If you don't want to go through the process of getting things updated manually (we wouldn't blame you), you can enroll in the Android Beta Program and wait for the update to be pushed out. The Beta Program is also great because future updates will be sent to you automatically, and you'll even be placed onto the final version of Android 8.1 when it's released. The Beta Program is live for older Pixels and Nexuses, as well as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Per the Android 8.1 Developer Preview website, Google says we'll be looking at once more DP release in mid-November, followed by a final release of Android 8.1 by the end of the year. Google says this first Developer Preview release is of "beta" quality, and says the associated APIs are already final.
Android 8.1 isn't going to mark any huge changes in interface, but it should clean up issues and bugs with the initial Oreo release. It's also set to enable the use of the Pixel Visual Core on the new Pixel 2 and 2 XL, which is a dedicated multi-core processor just for image processing — we'll see how that plays out once we get the software loaded up.