Google has rolled-out the developer preview (8.1) of Android Oreo which can now be accessed for testing by Android Beta Program users. The final Android 8.1 version is expected to be released in December.
The headline feature of the new Android 8.1 developer preview is the Neural Networks API (NNAPI) which is available on all devices running Android 8.1 (API level 27) or higher. Some of the compatible devices include Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.
NNAPI is described on the official Android Developer platform as –
The Android Neural Networks API (NNAPI) is an Android C API designed for running computationally intensive operations for machine learning on mobile devices. NNAPI is designed to provide a base layer of functionality for higher-level machine learning frameworks (such as TensorFlow Lite, Caffe2, or others) that build and train neural networks.
NNAPI offers hardware-accelerated inference to the phone specifically targeted to activate the hidden Pixel Visual Core system-on-a-chip used in the Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL.
The benefits of Neural Networks API on devices are Latency, Availability, Speed, Privacy, Cost, System utilization, etc.