Android 9 Pie is more adaptive with fewer buttons

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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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.
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