The Essential Phone has not quite been the device that Andy Rubin was hoping for. Recent reports suggest that less than 100,000 units were sold over the course of 2017. Big things are coming as Essential is already pushing the update to Android 8.1 Oreo.
Back at the end of January, Essential announced that it would not be releasing
the stable version of Android 8.0 due to various stability issues. Instead, PH-1 owners will update directly to Android 8.1 after the beta program is complete.
Speaking in regards to that beta program, Essential has introduced OTA updates to the mix. This means that you will no longer need to side-load or flash the software manually. Instead, sign up for the program through Essential's website and an update will arrive on your device.
Sign up for the Android 8.1 beta
The process for signing up is pretty simple. All you need to do is head over to the 'Beta Builds
' landing page for Essential. From there, you are asked how you would like to install the beta and select 'Over-the-Air'.
You will need to enter your name, email address, and 'Device Serial Number'. You can find this information by opening the Settings app on your device, selecting 'About Phone', and tapping 'Status'.
Essential warns that the update could take up to 72 hours before it is ready to be sent. However, once Essential is ready, you will receive an update notification. Open the notification, download the update, and voila! Your gorgeous Essential Phone will be running Android 8.1 Oreo.
The one warning that we would like to give before you jump into the beta program is to remember that this is beta software. There is a chance that features and functions that you would normally use could be "broken" and may not work properly. So we advise to sign up and use this beta software at your own risk.
For those who do not want to dabble in the world of beta updates, there is some relatively bad news. Essential has yet to share exactly when the final version of Android 8.1 will be ready. Luckily, the company has been fairly transparent about software updates and will let everyone know once the final rollout is taking place.
If you have signed up for the Android 8.1 beta program on your Essential Phone, feel free to let us know how it's running for you!