Just to be clear, if you are reading this, you pretty much are aware of Google’s model of giving it’s operating system food names in alphabetical order, right? Anyway, that’s not the core of this article. Google has officially unveiled the newest of its Android operating system. And, of course, it is named after a food.
The used-to-be latest OS was the “Android O” which was named after the popular chocolate cookie brand, Oreo. Now, the succeeding and latest OS has the codename “Android P” and no, P doesn’t stand for Pineapple, Pickles, Papaya, Parmesan, or Potato as many have earlier guessed.
The P is for Pie; Android Pie or Android 9 Pie it is!? And though the name is entirely new information, several Android users have had the benefit of toying around and getting acquainted to some the new OS’ features as far back as March when Google commenced the release different version of the Android 9 Pie Developer Preview.
Now, the stable version of the Android 9 Pie is officially available and we shall be highlighting 10 interesting features of the OS and supported devices.
Android 9 Pie: Features
The Android 9 Pie comes with a bunch of new features and also, an improvement to features on older OS. But basically, the core of the features and functionalities of the Android P revolves around Artificial Intelligence (AI) aimed at improving user-phone acquaintanceship.
Below are some of the new additions that comes with the Android 9 Pie operating system:
1. Adaptative Battery
With every gadget, every smartphone, and every OS ever released, users still never seem to get the best out of their battery, even with battery saving measures OEMs have installed on their devices. Battery longevity is one thing Google aims to extend on every Android smartphone with the Android 9 Pie.
The Android 9 will use ‘AI Powers’ to identify frequently used apps and apps you barely use and in turn limit battery usage of the less frequently apps; all done smartly and by itself.
In addition to Adaptive Battery, the Settings menu now come with recommendations on battery draining apps to restrict, so you can have more control over your battery and more battery juice.
2. Adaptative Brightness
Again, using AI, the Android 9 Pie allows your phone study how you set your screen’s brightness in different environmental lighting conditions and automatically does adjusts your screen brightness for you over time according to your preference.
3. New Navigation buttons & Gesture control
Although totally optional, the regular three-keys on-screen navigation keys (home, return, and app switch) that were used in previous OS have been replaced with a pill-shaped home button with smart gesture control at the centre and a return key at the left hand left-hand
With the new pill shappill-shapedton, you can:
- Swipe up to open app drawer
- Swipe left or right to switch between apps
4. Redefined Media Control
You know how the volume adjustment panel used to appear along the top of the screen? Well, we won’t be seeing that on the Android 9 as Google has made significant changes.
The volume slider will appear on the right side if the display in the Android P alongside an icon at the top which allows users easily turn off all notifications, put their devices on vibrate, or keep notifications on. The gear icon at the bottom of the slider opens up the sound settings where you can make adjustments to alarms volume, ringer, call, media etc.
5. Image Preview in Message Notification
In previous Android OS, you could only peek a preview of the text aspect of a message in the notification bar. On the Android 9 Pie, you can now preview images as well.
6. App Actions
App actions is another interesting new feature that comes with the Android 9 Pie which also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn what apps user make use of on their devices at different times of the day and make suggestions off it later on.
When you open the app drawer, right below the favourite/most used apps that are lined up below the search bar are the ‘App action cards’. The Android Pie makes your phone learn what apps you use at different times of the day and will show different App Actions in the app drawer.
Basically, the idea behind the App action is predicting/guessing what it (your phone) thinks you might want to do next using previous activities you carried out at that particular period in previous days or months.
7. Smart Do Not Disturb
The Do Not Disturb mode has been completely redefined on the Android Pie. Turning over your phone will now automatically turn on the Do Not Disturb mode but you can get calls from selected contacts. A new ‘Wind Down’ also works with the Do Not Disturb mode to encourage users sleep better at night by greying out the display and turning off notifications.
8. Virtual Notch
Display notches have been the thing of the year on the smartphone world and now, Google officially adds support for these screen cutout so developers can build apps that responds well to these cutouts on hardware without glitches.
The Android 9 Pie comes with something called ‘Dashboard’ which gives you hindsight around how often your device is used, how much time you spend on your phone, how much time you spend in apps, number of notifications you get and more.
10. Bluetooth connection and volume
The Android 9 Pie supports multiple Bluetooth connections with up to five devices and allows seamless switch between the connected devices. In addition, Android 9 will store the last volume you set for each of your Bluetooth devices and adopt the volume level when next you connect it to your phone. “No more blasting music too loudly when you reconnect to your car or headphones”, Google says.
The above feature are 10 of the best features we found particularly new and interesting. You can check out all the features of the Android Pie on the official Android website.
Google has commenced rollout of the Android 9 Pie to Pixel smartphones and Android One devices. We hear Essential Phones have also received the OS update. Other OEMs are expected to begin pushing the updates to their flagship devices in the coming weeks. OnePlus, for example, have announced which of its flagships will be getting the Android P update.