Google made some huge changes to ambient display in 8.0, not all of that made people happy. it had been a very minimal interface, rather than being a monochrome version of the lock screen. In android 8.1, Google is adding a few new elements to ambient display, but it’s still keeping the minimal vibe.
Those on the 8.1 developer preview have noticed that ambient display includes the date and upcoming alarms. These are both shown right under the time and above the row of notification icons. The alarm item won’t show up if you do not have one coming scheduled, of course. The layout is also alittle different in that case (see above)
As with so many things during this update, the improved ambient display was already live on the pixel 2 and 2 XL at launch. That build of 8.0 has a ton of features that are just now being made official in 8.1.