Android Pie: Top features of Google’s new mobile OS

New Delhi: Google has revealed Android 9 will officially be called Android Pie, and the latest version of the mobile operating system has started rolling out to Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. With Android Pie, the focus is on artificial intelligence, which will power the user experience on the OS.

It comes with features like an adaptive battery, which learns the apps you use most and prioritises battery for them, Google said in a statement on Monday. Another interesting feature that Android 9 Pie brings is adaptive brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness in different settings, and does it for you.

“Android 9 aims to make your phone even smarter by learning from you and adapting to your usage patterns,” said Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Android and Google Play.

“It also helps you get things done faster, like predicting what you will want to do next based on your context and displaying that action right on your phone,” Samat said, adding that the company was working to add key capabilities right into Android to help people achieve the balance with technology they are looking for.

At Google developers conference in May, Google previewed digital wellbeing features for Android including a new dashboard that shows time spent on the device; an app timer that lets users set time limits on apps and greys out the icon on the home screen when the time is up.

Google said “Digital Wellbeing” is now available in beta for Pixel phones running Android 9, and will be officially available in the next few months.

Digital Wellbeing

Android Dashboard: Aims to help you understand your habits and promote meaningful
engagement. Shows you, for example, how many times you unlocked your phone, how many
notifications you received, and how many apps you used. Also gives you controls for how and
when you spend time on your phone.

App Timer: Lets you specify how long you should spend using an app, and nudges you when
that time draws near.

Slush Gesture: Turn over your phone to automatically enter Do Not Disturb mode.

Wind Down Mode: Tell Google Assistant when you want to go to bed, and when that time
draws near it will turn on Do Not Disturb and switch the screen to greyscale mode.

Android 9 features a new system navigation featuring a single, clean home button. One can swipe up to see a newly designed “Overview”, the place where you have at-a-glance full-screen previews of your last used apps. The “Smart Text Selection” feature is designed to make switching between apps easier.

Google said that the Android Pie also brings a redesigned “quick settings” that offers among other things a better way to take and edit screenshots, simplified volume controls, and an easier way to manage notifications. “With Android 9 we have made software more secure from Code-reuse attacks, and installed features which add a layer of security to biometrics,” Google said.

Android 9 also has features to improve your privacy and security of sensitive data like credit card information, according to Google. “Starting today, an over-the-air update to Android 9 will begin rolling out to Pixel phones,” Google said on Monday.

Compatible phones

As per the tradition, Google Android Pie is coming to Pixel phones first. Non-Google phones from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Essential, that were part of Android P Beta programme will receive the update by end of this year. Android One phones like Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A1 will also be receiving the update later this year.