Many users mentioned that they were also having trouble downloading the OTA from the Android Beta Program. Since the OTA downloads for sideloading had been pulled, that was the only way to move to 8.1 without an unlocked bootloader. Well, those problems should now be resolved.
The Android 8.1 beta update started rolling out late last week. Shortly after the roll out began, user reports started pouring in that the update is failing to install. Well, the good news is that the problem is now fixed.
The confirmation came in the form of a forum post by a Google employee Orrin.
To give you a quick recap of the issue, users said as they attempted to install the OTA update, the phone rebooted and got to the Google logo (this happened multiple times), following which it rebooted back to 8.0. The system then displayed a notification saying “Couldn’t install system update.”
Coming back to the solution, as Orrin said, those who reverted back to 8.0 will be offered a new OTA, which has started rolling out. The new build number should be identical to the older one, and according to reports on the forum following his post, you may be able to download it now.
So if your device wasn’t able to install the Android Beta Program 8.1 OTA and you weren’t willing to unlock your bootloader to fix it, you should be able to see a new update on your device. If the new OTA isn’t showing for you just yet, it should be soon.
Earlier Google pulled the Pixel 2’s Android 8.1 developer preview factory images. Why? A bootloader configuration issue. In addition to pulling all the OTA files, Google has also placed a hold on the developer preview factory image for the new Pixel 2, though images for other devices, such as the Pixel 2 XL, are still available.
According to the release notes for the developer preview, a problem with the bootloader on the Pixel 2 prevents things from working quite as they should. It isn’t clear if that’s an issue with the bootloader image included in the developer preview images, or if it’s an issue with the bootloader the device shipped with. In either event, the factory image has been yanked.
The only way to move a Pixel 2 to the 8.1 developer preview right now is to enroll the device in the Android Beta Program and wait for the OTA to be delivered, and it’s unaffected by this problem. Updated factory images will be provided later.