Android 8.1 Oreo is finally out of beta for Pixel and Nexus devices. Google’s first maintenance update comes with a lengthy change log that includes fixes for Android 8.0 Oreo problems. If you’re dealing with problems on Android 8.0, Android 8.1 could have a positive impact on your device’s performance. There’s also a chance it will cause performance issues.
As we push away from the Android 8.1 release date we’re starting to hear and see complaints from Nexus and Pixel users running the new Oreo build. Some of these issues have carried over from the previous versions, some of the problems are brand new.
Today we want to take a look at the most important things to know about the Android 8.1 problems plaguing the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.
This walkthrough takes you through the current list of Android 8.1 problems, some resources that might come in handy should you run into issues with Android 8.1, and a quick look at what’s next from Google.
Prepare for Android 8.1
It’s tempting to install a new Android update the second it appears for your device. However, some of you (read: non-power users) would be wise to do some prep work before you start the download process. A little prep work will go a long way toward preventing Android 8.1 issues.
You can’t predict how the Android 8.1 update will perform on your device. Some of you might see a performance boost, others might run into a host of bugs. This is precisely why you should prepare for this version of Android 8.1 and the new builds Google will release in 2018.
We recently put together a guide that will take you through the pre-installation process we use before we install Android software on our Nexus and Pixel devices. We got through the Android 8.1 without any major issues.
If you don’t have a ton of time to spend prepping your device, just be sure all of your files are backed up before proceeding with the Android 8.1 update.
Pixel & Nexus Android 8.1 Problems
It’s early, but we’re already hearing about Android 8.1 problems and bugs. The list is short, but we expect it to grow over time as more people download the software to their device.
Some Nexus and Pixel owners are running into problems installing the software. If you’re experiencing issues with the installation process, take a look at our guide. It will walk you through it all.
Installation issues are the only problems popping up for Nexus and Pixel users. We’re also hearing about issues with sound, problems with first and third-party apps, reboots, lag, lockups, severe battery drain, issues with the Camera, fingerprint sensor problems, and various Enterprise issues.
Battery life on Android 8.1 on my Pixel 2 XL appears to not be as good as 8.0…@AndroidDev
— Isaac Torres (@iamisaactorres) December 6, 2017
On 8.1 DP2 (Nexus 6P), the battery usage is insanely bad. I mean doze does not kick in. I sleep with around 28% and wake up to find it discharged. And app usage 101%, is it even possible?@googlenexus @Android @Google pic.twitter.com/p9IBMYFeNu
— Anurag Wasankar (@anurag_0711) December 6, 2017
Again, these are just the tip of the iceberg. We expect to see additional issues popup in the near future as the Android 8.1 roll out expands.
Where to Find Feedback
Current and prospective Android 8.1 users should keep an eye on feedback as we push away from the Android 8.1 update’s release date.
We’re starting to see feedback emerge on social media sites like Twitter and we expect to see Nexus and Pixel users share their thoughts on Android 8.1’s performance on YouTube.
Short-term feedback is useful, but make sure keep an eye out for long-term feedback from Android 8.1 users.
We’ve put together our impressions of the Nexus 5X Android 8.1 update and the Pixel Android 8.1 update, and they’re worth a look if you’re feeling leery about the move from Android 8.0 to Android 8.1.
How to Fix Nexus Android 8.1 Problems
If you run into Android 8.1 problems on your Nexus or Pixel your first instinct might be to get in contact with Google. That’s certainly an option, but you should try and fix the problem on your own before getting in contact with customer service.
We’ve put together a list of fixes for the most common Android Oreo issues. Our list includes fixes for Wi-Fi issues, Bluetooth bugs, and abnormal battery drain and it’s worth a look if you don’t have any fixes of your own.
If our list doesn’t have the fix you’re looking for, head on over to Google’s official Nexus Help Forums or Google’s Pixel Help forums. There are a ton of knowledgable users over there and you might be able to track a fix down within minutes.
If you haven’t do so already, make sure you get familiar with Android’s downgrade process. Downgrading to an older version of Android could help improve your device’s performance.
At this point, you can’t rely on Google to fix your issues. The company hasn’t confirmed Android 8.1.1 or Android 8.2 so it could be weeks before we see another maintenance release. If we even see another maintenance release.
At this point, the only updates on our radar are the company’s monthly security patches. These updates sometimes deliver bug fixes, but it’s pretty sporadic.
We expect the next patch, the January update, to touch down for Nexus devices, the Pixel, and the Pixel 2 in early January after the holiday.
Nexus 5X Android 8.1 Oreo Impressions
Before we get into an early look at the update's performance on the Nexus 5X, a few notes about the installation process.
If you're currently running the Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 and you want to get the update on board your device right now, you need to unenroll from the beta program and sideload it. We don't recommend this process because it can be extremely time consuming.
Most of you should wait for the OTA to arrive later this month.
If you do decide to download Android 8.1 today, we recommend putting aside an hour of quiet time to monitor the download and the installation for problems.
We've been using Android 8.1 Oreo on the Nexus 5X since the release of the first beta. We've been using the official version of the update for a few hours now and the update is performing well in key areas like battery life, connectivity, and UI speed.
Battery drain is a common issue, but we haven't noticed anything on our Nexus 5X. Battery life is about the same as it was on Android 8.0 Oreo. If you do start to encounter battery life issues, take a look at our guide to fixing bad battery life.
We've been able to connect the Nexus 5X to multiple routers including eero. Speeds are fast and reliable. We've also successfully connected the Nexus 5X to several Bluetooth devices including headphones and speakers.
The Nexus 5X feels snappy with Android 8.1 on board. It's still early, but animations and transitions are smooth and we haven't experienced any lag or general sluggishness.
We haven't encountered any horrendous issues, but we've only used the official version of Android 8.1 for a few hours.
If you're feeling leery, you probably should wait for the OTA or, if you're feeling especially nervous, for long-term feedback to arrive.