Yes, the next iteration of our beloved Android operating system has finally arrived and it’s been called Android 9 Pie. More than just a visual change, the newest Android has baked in artificial intelligence to make your phone smarter, simple and custom tailored to your needs.
Google has officially debuted the latest release of Android and being rolled out to first generation and second generation Pixel smartphones. Other phones which participated in the beta program, which include devices from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential, along with numerous Android One devices will get the latest Android releases in a few weeks. So, do check your phones “System Update” tab for the Pie.
What’s new in Android 9 Pie?
Smarter smartphone: With Android 9 Pie, Google has baked in AI and machine learning to its core. It can learn as you use it, by knowing your preferences and adjusting automatically. For example, Adaptive Battery uses machine learning to prioritize system resources and battery for the apps that you use the most. Then there are App Actions, which can predict what you want to do next based on your context and displays that action right on your phone. It’s some sort of an expanded version of Google Assistant Routines.
Slices: It helps you to get a quick peek into your apps without actually opening it. For example, when you start typing “Ola” into Google search, then a slice of the Ola app will show with details like cab availability, pricing and ETA for a cab to reach you etc. Thus without wasting much time, you could take action more easily and quickly. Do note that, Slices have not been included in this release and will roll out sometime this fall.
Gesture Navigation: Instead of the age-old three-button navigation system, Android 9 Pie comes with a single home button and lots gestures. You could simply swipe up to see the new Overview section which houses the recent apps. It also includes the redesigned Quick Settings, better screenshots, simplified volume controls, rotation confirmation, an easier way to manage notifications and more.
Smart Text Selection: When selecting a text (from any app) it can recognize the meaning of the text and thus suggests relevant actions. For example, when you select a street address in a message you get, it will ask if you need to open it in Google Maps.
Digital wellbeing: It’s a truth that we are mostly addicted to our smartphones. Well, the makers of Android, Google is stepping in to make its users less addicted to smartphones. Android 9 Pie comes with a new Dashboard which shows insight into the ways you use each app. With App Timer you could essentially set a time limit on the apps and disable the app for rest of the day.
- Similarly, Do Not Disturb mode can block all the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen (apart from calls and texts).
- Wind Down mode will turn on Do Not Disturb automatically and fades the screen to grayscale reminding you that it’s time to sleep.
Security: Android 9 Pie has further hardened its platform and improved security model for biometrics. It protects all data that enters or leaves a device with Transport Layer Security (TLS) by default. It also has built-in support for DNS over TLS which helps in private browsing.
Privacy: Android 9 Pie system now by default restricts access to the mic, camera, and all sensors for apps that are idle. In addition, Google says that all its machine learning activity is happening right in your device, with no data being uploaded to the cloud.
Display cutout: Android 9 Pie adds support for the famous display notch or display cut out you see in most of the recent android smartphones.
Furthermore, you could read our previous article, which covers most of the new exciting features arrived with Android 9 Pie launch.