You Can Now Test Android Oreo on the Essential Phone
If you own an Essential phone and have always wanted to try out the new Android 8.0, also known as Android Oreo, there’s good news for you. The new operating system is now available for use on the Essential Phone.
This comes a few weeks after a blog post by the Essential Company’s founder Andy Rubin, where he promised users for two years of Android updates and monthly security patches.
Essential is now part of the growing – but unusually short so far – list of device manufacturers are allowing users to access the latest Android software update and test it on their devices.
The news gets better though. Essential is not limiting among their users. They can access the software. The company is allowing anyone unlimited access for now, whether they are developers or just Android enthusiasts. Android Oreo’s set up files are now available on the company’s developer portal, where interested parties can download them from at no cost.
The process of installation is not an easy one; it involves downloading the software files and then side-loading them onto the phone using the latest ADB tool available. Developers would probably know what to do, so Essential has tried to simplify the process for everyone else by offering the setup guidelines on its website too.
Essential Phone users are cautioned though; the software is still in Beta mode, which means that it could be slightly unstable on the device. The company has since requested users to give as much feedback as possible whenever they experience a software issue. Users have also been told to expect issues such as faster battery drain when Bluetooth is enabled. Also, they may experience compatibility issues when connecting to some vehicles. The downside to all this is that despite requesting feedback from its users, Essential will not be offering official technical support for this release, at least for now. Essential Phone owners will have to wait until the software is officially fitted onto their devices for that to happen.
The Android 8.0 Oreo was launched in August 2017 as a successor to the Android 7.0 Nougat. It has seen a slower pickup by major manufacturers than its predecessors, with reports suggesting that the Android Oreo is currently installed on only 0.3% of mobile devices so far.
Currently, only a handful of phone manufacturers including Samsung, Huawei, and HTC have started allowing testing of Beta version of their phones. More are expected to jump on board by next year with their new releases; nevertheless, many are still leaning toward Android Nougat more than the new update. Some new phones already come fitted with the new software including, of course, Google’s Pixel 2 and the Sony Xperia XZ1.
Essential Phone users interested in Android Oreo have a lot to be excited about. The OS comes with a slew of new features that the company expects new users to love. Two of the major promises from the developers are bound to excite fans: these include better battery protection and 2x boot speed as compared to earlier versions.
Oreo also comes with a new emoji set, complete with 60 new emoji to add to the existing one. Android Instant Apps is another new feature that gives access to your apps from within your browser. There is the new, improved ‘Autofill’ feature, which makes logins a tad faster by automatically filling in your login details into apps.
Also making its debut is the wonderful ‘picture-in-picture’ feature, which allows viewing two apps at once. In previous versions, the second app has to permanently cover at least a portion of the screen by the other app when opened. In Oreo, the second app will have a transparent screen when opened, allowing for the view (and use) of the first app at the same time. Perhaps the new software’s ‘Background limits’ feature is its best yet: it specifically and smartly minimizes unnecessary background app activity, especially that of apps you don’t use. (This might explain the battery protection promise.)
This is one of the first major changes the Essential Phone is undergoing, following its release in May this year across the United States. The Essential Phone runs on Android without any modifications.