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Google Pixel Visual Core support postponed until Android 8.1 Dev Preview 2

The Pixel 2's dedicated photography chip wasn't enabled in the first Android 8.1 Developer Preview, despite that Google said the option would be there.

Published onNovember 1, 2017

It was recently revealed that Google had snuck an octa-core chip into the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL specifically to help with photography processing. The is called the Pixel Visual Core and it’s Google’s first SoC, but it’s speculated that it wasn’t quite finished at the time of the Pixel 2’s release, resulting in it being disabled by default.

Google said Pixel 2 owners would have the option to enable the Pixel Visual Core once the Android 8.1 Developer Preview arrived; however, that landed last week without the promised support.

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This was pointed out by Ars Technica‘s Ron Amadeo on Twitter, who subsequently directed his followers to the newly updated Android 8.1 Release Notes page. There, Google confirmed that the Pixel Visual Core now won’t be enabled until the Developer Preview 2 (apparently).

Thankfully, it seems you won’t have long to wait for this, as Google also says that it should land in November. Still, it’s a disappointment for those who wanted to check out an early version of it right now, and we don’t know exactly why there has been a delay (presumably, it’s still in an unfinished state).

The Pixel Visual Core chip is said to be able to improve the effects of HDR+, as well as make it more power efficient, while it has implications for machine learning that may be taken advantage of in future also. Hopefully, we’ll see it when the next Preview drops later this month.

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