How to Install Android 8.1 Developer Preview 1 for Google Pixel

The official Android 8.1 Developer Preview Factory Image is now available for all the Google Pixel smartphones.

The first Developer Preview of Android 8.1 Oreo brings the following new changes on Pixel phones: Dark / light System user interface that takes colors from the wallpaper you’re currently using; the Quick Settings panel is now semi-transparent, Settings menu has been greatly modified, new Android 8.1 Oreo Easter Egg, Navigation Bar will dim automatically when inactive, changed Power Menu, and numerous others new small changes.

This tutorial features the instructions that you need to use in order to manually flash the new Android 8.1 developer preview factory image for your smartphone. Note that the installation of this new factory image will wipe clean the smartphone, no data will survive the install process.

Before starting the flashing process you need to check the following guidelines:

  • use this guide only for the Google Pixel.
  • do not use the tutorial for other different devices.
  • you need to enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock from Developer Options before starting the installation.
  • if you can’t find Developer Options, then it must be because it is hidden: go to Settings> About Phone> and tap seven times on the Firmware Build Number text.
    – return to Settings, as Developer Options will now be listed under Settings menu.
    – open Developer Options and enable USB Debugging, and then enable OEM Unlock option, too.
  • the installation of Android 8.1 Factory Image Developer Preview will wipe clean the whole device, and no data will survive the installation process.
  • make sure to create backups for all the important files you’re currently storing on your smartphone.
  • use this guide only in case you are an advanced user, we cannot be blamed if you brick the phone nor in case you lose any important data files.
  • read the whole guide and make sure not to skip any steps.
  • check battery charge level of your device, make sure that there is at least 50% charge left before the smartphone powers off completely.

These were the guidelines you had to read before starting the install process.

How to flash Android 8.1 Factory Image Preview Build 1 for Google Pixel:

Firstly you have to setup the Android ADB Fastboot and Platform-Tools for your computer, as otherwise you cannot connect your phone with the PC.

Here’s how to SETUP the Android and Fastboot ADB drivers for your PC:

  • download Platform-Tools zip from the sources below:
    – for Windows click here.
    – for Mac OS here.
    – for Linux go here.
  • after the download is done you will have to extract the archived contents and save them all in a newly created Platform-Tools folder.
  • download and install the Google USB drivers from here.

Now you can start the factory image flashing process.

Install Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview Factory Image:

  1. Download the Android 8.1 Preview Build 1 from here.
  2. After the download is done you have to extract the archived contents and save them all to Platform-Tools folder.
  3. Switch off your device.
  4. Boot your smartphone in Fastboot Mode.
  5. Connect your Google Pixel to computer via usb cable.
  6. Get to Platform-Tools folder and launch a command prompt / terminal screen with administrator rights.
    Make sure that the phone has been detected by the PC, and then get to the next step.
  7. Enter the following command line in order to unlock the phone bootloader: fastboot flashing unlock
    Confirm process.
  8. Now you have to start the factory image installation. Open Platform-Tools and launch the ‘Flash-all.bat’ script.
    Confirm the installation of the new firmware and wait for it to complete.
  9. When the installation is done you can reboot the Pixel device and unplug it from computer.

These were the steps that you had to take in order to complete the installation of a new factory image for your device.

If installation fails, then you should repeat installation more than once, but make sure that you won’t skip any steps and that your phone meets all requirements. If you need more help completing the guide you should tell us in comments.

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