Google’s newest Android version finally has a name: “Pie”. It has already started rolling out and is packed with new features, from extended battery life to new gesture navigation.
Google initially announced a preview version of the software in March, then demoed some features at its annual I/O developer conference in May.
One of Android 9’s biggest selling points is its use of artificial intelligence to maximise battery life.
“Android 9 harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to give you more from your phone,” Android states on its website. “Now it’s smarter, faster and adapts as you use it.”
The aim of the AI is to provide a tailored experience to the user, with the operating system learning the user’s preferences over time.
“We’ve built Android 9 to learn from you – and work better for you – the more you use it,” Sameer Samat, vice president of product management at Android, said in a blog post.
“From predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take, to prioritising battery power for the apps you use most, to helping you disconnect from your phone at the end of the day, Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone.”
Android 9 introduces tools that aimed to prevent phone addiction. To help people disconnect from their device, Android Pie includes tools for “digital wellbeing”, which aims to limit people’s time spent using their smartphone. A new dashboard tells users you how much time you’ve spent using your phone, and the time spent on individual apps.
Google says Android Pie enables industry-leading hardware security capabilities that allow protecting your sensitive information such as credit card data using a secure, dedicated chip.
Besides this, Android Pie also brings important privacy improvements, like “TLS by default and DNS over TLS to help protect all web communications and keep them private.”
In addition to these features, Google has also introduced new gesture-based system navigation in Android Pie that features a single home button, smart text selection, gesture navigation, and Wi-Fi round-trip time (RTT), while digital wellbeing coming in the fall.
Android 9 pie is currently available on Pixel phones and devices that participated in the Beta program from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential, while all other qualifying Android One devices will receive this update by the end of the fall.