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Android

Android 9 Pie is more adaptive with fewer buttons

By Jules Wang August 6, 2018, 3:34 pm

Welcome to Android 9 Pie.

Google has announced the dessert name of its latest version of its mobile operating system. It’s launching with the Pixel phones from today and will be rolling out to third-party devices eligible for the Android Beta Program throughout the rest of summer and into fall.

The top-line takeaways for Android Pie, which had more or less been already revealed at Google I/O, are:

  • An Adaptive Battery mode that clamps down on apps’ background operations
  • App Actions right in the top level of the app drawer for easy access to conversations, route tours and contacts when you need them
  • Slices in Google Search, where apps can insert their services into results when it’s appropriate — an address query would generate an Uber or Lyft ride request action
  • More robust notification actions for text conversations, as well as access to generated Smart Replies right from the notification
  • A gesture-based navigation UI, taking away the multitasking button for home button gestures
  • Native support for display “notches”
  • A digital health Dashboard to limit use of certain apps and preventing the user from engaging in deleterious online behaviors

Some of the background upgrades include:

  • Limitations on what your hardware’s sensors can record while the device is asleep
  • App developers can class their data needs for certain tasks, allowing the device to wait until getting with Wi-Fi to execute a data-intensive operation
  • HDR VP9 and HEIF video and image compression
  • Apps developed with the Kotlin language
  • Global Private DNS through TLS

Of course, the biggest disappointment looks to be the name. Pie, really?

Update: Essential has published its Android P update for the Essential Phone. It has consistently followed up Google’s beta updates with a quick update of its own.

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