Google’s latest Android operating system has finally landed, and its name: Pie.
Android 9 Pie – to state its full name – is currently rolling out to devices as a free upgrade and features new artificial intelligence designed to make your phone smarter, simpler and more personal.
Predictive functions within the software mean that the more you use your phone, the more it learns about you. This increasingly streamlined experience will see your Android phone predict your next action, allowing you to complete tasks much more quickly.
Elsewhere in this self-learning OS, an adaptive battery feature prioritises battery power for the apps you use most, while adaptive brightness learns how you like to set the brightness in different settings and adopts the settings automatically.
While the actual OS is available now for some devices, a new feature called Slices will be introduced before the end of 2018.
It is designed to show relevant information from users’ favorite apps when they need it. For example, start typing ‘Lyft’ into Google Search, you’ll see a ‘slice’ of the Lyft app, displaying prices for your ride home and the driver’s ETA.
A new system navigation featuring a single home button has been introduced with Android 9 Pie. This decision was influenced by the fact that phones are growing taller, which means that getting things done on your phone with one hand will likely become more difficult.
With this single home button, users can swipe up to see a newly designed overview, giving full-screen previews of your recently used apps. Simply swipe up from anywhere and tap to jump back into whichever app you want.
In other changes, quick settings has been redesigned resulting in simplified volume controls, an easier way to manage notifications and a better way to take and edit screenshots (no more double-finger claw action).
An improved security model for biometrics has also been introduced, enabling industry-leading hardware security capabilities to protect sensitive data like credit card information using a secure, dedicated chip.
There are improvements for privacy too, such as TLS by default and DNS over TLS to help protect all web communications and keep them private.
Android 9 has already started rolling out to Pixel phones and devices that participated in the beta programme (Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential) will receive the update by the end of the autumn.