Android 9 Pie is the most recent version of Google’s mobile operating system as of March 2019. It was released publicly to Android device users on August 6, 2018 and is the ninth major release, or 16th version, of the OS. This newest build of Android brought forth a number of improvements, focusing on deeper use of artificial intelligence, improved battery life and a digital wellbeing initiative to assist the user in better monitoring their device usage.
Features and upgrades
For the end user, Android 9 Pie offers several features that seek to improve several facts of the daily experience. Specific apps can also be opted out from it if desired.
- Battery life: The Adaptive Battery feature attempts to prioritize the device’s battery life for applications that see the most usage. This feature can be enabled or disabled from settings.
- Device usage: Several features seek to reduce the steps the user must take when performing an action. For example, Adaptive Brightness learns from the level of brightness assigned to the screen in specific settings, then replicates those usage patterns.
- Application suggestions: Another level of deeper integration for user interaction is App Actions. This feature displays suggested actions in the app drawer. Examples include sending a text message to a recent contact or playing a favorite artist in a music streaming application. Slices can take users to the specific function inside of an app. For example, typing “Lyft” into Google search may lead to a result that details a price for a ride home.
- Visual and interface updates: Android 9 Pie also has a modest redesign to the interface. A new gesture navigation scheme allows the user to get a better visual overview of the applications that were previously used and to switch between them. Features like the quick settings and screenshot-taking tool also feature a tweaked design from the previous version of Android. Elements of the visual design may, however, differ depending on customizations made by a specific device OEM.
- Digital wellbeing: The Digital Wellbeing initiative is also a prominent part of the Android 9 Pie update. On Google’s Pixel and other supported devices, users can access a dashboard that details the usage patterns for types of applications. Users can also set a timer to limit the amount of time spent on specific apps.
- Minimized disturbances: A Do Not Disturb can be enabled to silence visual interruptions and notifications. The Night Light will grayscale the screen as a way to discourage use in the evening to avoid interrupting sleep patterns.
- Security improvements: With each major release of Android, Google has detailed specific improvements to the security standing of Android. With this edition, Android offers an improved security model for biometric authentication. Additionally other privacy improvements include TLS by default and DNS over TLS, which help protect the privacy of web communications.