Google’s next version of Android finally has a name: ‘Pie’ and it is rolling out right now. Android 9 Pie is packed with new features, from extended battery life to new gesture navigation. Pie marks one of the biggest changes in the way Android looks.
It comes with a more colorful interface, a collection of new movement animations and rounded edges on almost everything. Thankfully, it’s still as fast as Android Oreo, at least on Google’s Pixel smartphones.
When can you get it?
At present, if you own one of the recent Google Pixel smartphones or the Essential Phone via an over-the-air update. Either wait for the notification to update or head to Settings > System > Advanced > System update and hit the “Check for update” button.
Others will have to wait for their smartphone manufacturer to deliver the update. Those with phones such as the OnePlus 6 that were included in the Android P beta programme over the last couple of months will probably see the update soon. Those with Samsung, Huawei or other mainstream manufacturer devices may have to wait sometime to see the update on their phones.
Aims of Android 9 Pie
Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness
Android 9 comes with features like Adaptive Battery, which learns the apps you use most and prioritizes battery for them, and Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness in different settings.
Android 9 also helps you get things done faster with App Actions, which predicts what you’ll want to do next based on your context and displays that action right on your phone. Say it’s Tuesday morning and you’re preparing for your commute: you’ll be suggested actions like navigating to work on Google Maps or resuming an audiobook with Google Play Books. And when you put in headphones after work, you may see options to call your mom or start your favorite Spotify playlist.
New system navigation
This is especially helpful as phones grow taller and it’s more difficult to get things done on your phone with one hand. With a single, clean home button, you can swipe up to see a newly designed Overview, the spot where at a glance you have full-screen previews of your recently used apps.
Smart Text Selection
It recognizes the meaning of the text you’re selecting and suggests relevant actions now works on the Overview of your recent apps, making it easier to perform the action you want.
Google’s anti-smartphone addiction tools, collectively called “Digital Wellbeing”, are currently in beta testing for a select number of users. A new Dashboard that helps you understand how you’re spending time on your device. An App Timer that lets you set time limits on apps and grays out the icon on your home screen when the time is up. The new Do Not Disturb feature, which silences all the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen. Wind Down feature, which switches on Night Light and Do Not Disturb and fades the screen to grayscale before bedtime.
Coming to your device
Starting today, an over-the-air update to Android 9 will begin rolling out to Pixel phones. And devices that participated in the Beta program from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential, as well as all qualifying Android One devices, will receive this update by the end of this fall.