AT&T rolls out Android Oreo 8.1 to Pixel 2 and 2 XL, update also adds HD Voice Calling


AT&T has released a new update to Google's Pixel 2 phones. Weighing in at 531.7MB, the software upgrade brings the recently-announced Android Oreo 8.1 in addition to the carrier's proprietary HD Voice functionality.

HD Voice uses wide-band audio technology and noise cancellation to improve call quality. In order to enable the feature, head over to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Networks and tap on the “Advanced Calling” toggle. Keep in mind that you also have to be located in an area that supports the service.

Here's a list of the changes that Android Oreo 8.1 should bring to your phone:

  1. Neural Networks API - allows apps to take advantage of hardware acceleration, which should reduce latency, network loads, and keep sensitive data on the device itself. If your phone features a dedicated AI chip, the API will be able to take advantage of it. If not, it will put the load on the CPU.
  2. Light navigation bar, prevents display burn-in.
  3. December security patch.
  4. Pixel Visual Core - Google’s first custom-designed co-processor (present on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL) for machine learning and image processing is now available to third-party developers. Apps that use the Android Camera API will be able to shoot in HDR+.
  5. Safer browsing - This feature allows apps to detect WebView attempts which could navigate to known bad URLs.
  6. Apps are now limited to one notification alert sound per second.
  7. Bluetooth battery indicator in Quick Settings - If you have a Bluetooth device connected to your phone, you'll be able to see how much battery it has left straight from the Quick Settings shade.
  8. Improvements to autofill.
  9. Fingerprint scanner security improvement - users will be able to permanently lock out anyone who fails to unlock the device with an unregistered fingerprint multiple times.
  10. Colors menu added to Display tab in Settings for Pixel 2 and 2 XL. Three options available - Natural, Boosted, and Saturated.
  11. Fixed an issue with Nexus 5X not playing audio through the speaker.
  12. Fixed an issue with Pixel 2/2 XL audio distortion in video playback. 
  13. Fixes for hamburger and beer emojis.

The update is available OTA, but it might need some time to reach all compatible devices. As always, make sure that your phone is sufficiently charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network before proceeding with the patch.

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7 Comments

1. Toyoman24

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 31, 2017

worthless Pos phone

5. applesnapple93

Posts: 302; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

you mad? mommy and daddy cant afford to get you it for christmas so its a pos ?

6. jphiller87

Posts: 92; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Nah it's an actual pos the $499 OnePlus 5t comes with this feature out of the box.

2. Melee

Posts: 29; Member since: Apr 30, 2017

I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the whole article. I’m very confused why AT&T released an OTA update for a Verizon exclusive phone though. What am I missing?

3. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I guess it's to enable HD voice calling for those who are using the Pixel 2 on AT&T's network.

4. strbckboy

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

AT&T doesn’t roll out software updates to Pixel devices. Google does that. This update just happens to include HD Voice support on the AT&T network. Honestly, pretty sad that a site that does nothing but stories on mobile phones doesn’t understand how this works.

7. niteiknight

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

Putting aside the fact that it's Google releasing this update and not AT&T, this is pretty good news for those using either models of the Pixel 2 on AT&T. They so rarely allow phones they didn't sell to use HD Voice on their network (iPhones notwithstanding). Hopefully they continue doing this for other phones like the unlocked Samsungs and what not.

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