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Android 8.1 preview rolling out to beta users, manual OTAs apparently halted
The Android 8.1 developer preview rolled out a couple of days ago and we, as well as many other fans, have been busy exploring all that it offers. This work-in-progress version of Android 8.1 is available to Nexus and Pixel users, and it was relatively easy to install, though Google has just made it a little trickier.
As we noticed yesterday, Google has redirected its Developer Preview OTA downloads page on the Android website to the regular factory image page, removing access to the OTA download links. Flashing OTAs is generally the preferred method for installing updates because it doesn’t wipe any data, but it has likely been pulled due to some users having issues when flashing them. Thankfully, it’s not the only way to get the 8.1 developer preview.
You can also flash the full factory image if you have an unlocked bootloader — instructions here — or you can register for the Android Beta Program and wait to be notified about the update over-the-air.
If you do want to do this the latter way, the good news is that it appears that Google is now rolling out the update through the Beta Program. This would be a hands-off way to get your hand on Android 8.1 Oreo right now, though it means waiting for it to the OTA notification to appear. There’s no telling when exactly that will happen, but the news that Google is rolling it out would suggest that you won’t be in for a big wait.
To sign up for the program, visit the page here and look out for the update coming soon.