Google have now announced the availability of the final Developer Preview of Android 8.1. While the finalised version won’t roll out until December, the new preview features “near-final” system images. The new preview actives the Pixel Visual Core chipset in both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL.
Essentially, this is an 8 core system on chip (SOC) which can run three trillion operations per second. Android Central reports that Google’s HDR+ routines will be five times faster using less than a tenth of the energy over using the standard image processor. This means better dynamic range and reduced noise through computational imaging.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL have had the Pixel Visual Core all along, but it’s not been activated. The software simply wasn’t ready. Now it’s pretty much there.
As well as providing this support for Google’s native camera app, Google are now opening up HDR+ to 3rd party developers. This means all of your favourite custom camera apps will benefit from it, too, assuming the developers choose to take advantage.
If you want to try it out now, you’ll have to sign up here. Or, you can just wait for the final release in December.