After all the speculations, Google has officially rolled out its new Android update, 9.0 Pie. Talking about the grand scheme of things, the company has always been naming their OS’ iteration into deserts. Last time it was 8.0 Oreo and the way before it was Nougat. While most of the users did predict the ‘P’ to be called as a Peppermint or the Pancake, it looks like Google had already made their mind clear about the new naming scheme.
What’s new in the Android 9.0 Pie?
Alongside changes in aesthetics, the update has pretty much new features baked into it. Some of the features were seen in the Android P beta release, while some of are pretty new. Let’s take a look:
- App Action: App action is basically a shortcut located in the app drawer. It will predict your usage and what you’re about to do to make things quicker. To give an example, if you use calendar app mostly to set a reminder, the app action will eventually suggest you do so the next time you use it.
- Adaptive Battery: Google has been working hard to improve the battery life of phones with each update. And the Adaptive Battery is one of the few tricks from them. This feature uses a machine learning to read your usage of apps and prioritize the battery power on the apps you often use.
- Adaptive Brightness: It learns which brightness level you prefer the most according to your surroundings, and adjusts the brightness level automatically to your needs.
- Gesture-based navigation: This has to come. The new gesture-based navigation on the Android 9.0 Pie totally removes the home, back, and recent apps button. Rather, it opts you to use the pill like home button to navigate through the home, back, and recent apps. For instance, press the button to go home, swipe right to go back and swipe up to view recent apps and suggestions. Just like some recent Moto devices or iPhone X.
- Improved Security: The Android P also brings improved security. The update now improves the way it asks for fingerprint authentication. The Android Pie will make you more conscious about whether the software itself is asking for your authentication or anything else. App developers are also confined to use TLS encryption as they will be blocking any data being received from HTTP servers. The most important thing here is that apps won’t be able to use the phone’s microphone, camera or sensors when idle.
- Many more: Alongside these changes, the new Android update also brings tons of little changes including the improved notifications, smart text selection, improved Google Maps, new always-on display, inbuilt support for notches, and many more. You just have to use it to know more about the new Android Pie.
The new Digital Wellbeing feature for Android 9.0 Pie was recently announced at Google I/O 2018. The new feature is made to make users less addicted to smartphones by allowing to view about how much you’re using the phone as well as the apps and how many time you’ve unlocked the phone. This even helps you notify to take rest at the end.
For instance, if you want to use the YouTube app for just 15-minutes, you can set a 15-minute timer in the Digital Wellbeing settings. After you hit the time limit, the app will be grayscaled to let you know that you’ve used it to your time limit.
There’s also a Wind Down option in the Digital Wellbeing settings itself. This helps you not only set Night Light at your choice but also activate the Do Not Disturb mode if you wish to. It also turns your whole screen grayscale to remind you to put down your phone at your chosen bedtime.
Digital Wellbeing, though not available in initial Android Pie update, can be used by signing up for a beta program by Pixel owners. As per Google, it may take up to 24 hours for Digital Wellbeing to hit your device’s setting app. To sign up for the beta program click here.
When will my phone get the new update?
Pixel users are already starting to get the Android 9.0 update, while there has also been some news about the Essential Phone receiving it as well. Other devices, including the ones from OnePlus and Motorola, are expected to get the new taste of Android within a month or two. As for others, we still have to wait and see.