After entering development last year in June, the Android-x86 8.1 release, which is based on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system, saw two RC (Release Candidate) builds that allowed testers to try the upcoming OS on their PCs. Three months after the last RC build, the Android-x86 8.1 release is now finally stable and ready for mass adoption.
Software rendering is also possible on unsupported GPU devices with OpenGL ES 2.0 support via SwiftShader, and Android-x86 8.1 also comes with support for hardware accelerated codecs on devices powered by Intel HD and Intel G45 graphics cards series. For newer Intel and AMD GPUs, this release adds experimental Vulkan support available via Advanced options on the boot menu.
While graphics upgrades are essential for a smooth Android experience on PCs, Android-x86 8.1 introduces lots of other goodies, including support for multi-touch, Bluetooth, DHCP-only Ethernet, Fi-Fi, audio, camera, and sensors, the ability to mount external USB drives and SD cards, as well as Secure Boot support when installing to and booting from UEFI drives.
Furthermore, Android-x86 8.1 adds a text-based GUI installer, theme support to the GRUB-EFI bootloader, support for both 32-bit and 64-bit kernels and userspace, support for ARM apps via the native bridge mechanism available under Settings > Android-x86 options, and mouse integration for virtual machines like Oracle VirtualBox, QEMU, VMWare, and Microsoft Hyper-V.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht