Android 9 Pie – Everything you need to know!

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Google has finally released the Android 9 for Pixel devices and the name Android Pie has been finalized for the ninth iteration of the widely used OS. The new version of Android brings a lot of new improvements and features and an official support for the notch that we see on a lot of smartphones these days.

The new update has already been pushed and if you’re a Pixel smartphone users, you might have recieved a notification to update your smartphone to Android 9 Pie already. Let us take a look at everything that Android Pie has to offer but first, let us know which smartphones will be getting the Android 9 Pie update.

Which phones are eligible for the update right now?

The Android 9 Pie is already available to Pixel smartphone users which means if you have a first generation Pixel or Pixel XL or even a second generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, you might have recieved a notification for the update.

Pixel Android 9 Update Notification

Apart from the Pixel phones, the Android 9 Pie update is already under the works for companies that participated in the Beta. You might have heard about the Developer Preview for Pixel smartphones and some other phones from other companies were being released for testing. But now that the update is finally here, you will be soon able to update your devices.

Here is a list of companies and their phones that participated in the Beta.

  • Sony Xperia XZ2
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
  • Nokia 7 Plus
  • Oppo R15 Pro
  • Vivo X21
  • OnePlus 6
  • Essential PH‑1

OnePlus became part of the Beta with the launch of OnePlus 6 and the update is underway and will be made available to users having a OnePlus 6 and older devices. When it comes to older OnePlus devices, following devices will get the Android Pie update:

  • OnePlus 6
  • OnePlus 5T
  • OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus 3T
  • OnePlus 3

Other manufacturers like the Essential Phone have already made the update available to the users who use their Essential PH-1 smartphone. Other companies will follow the suite soon. The update for other flagship phones from LG and Samsung will be pushed by the companies but there are no official dates announced yet. Take a look at the phones that will get the Android 9 Pie update.

LG

  • LG G7
  • LG V30 (all models)
  • LG V20
  • LG G6

Samsung

  • Galaxy S9 S9+, and S9 Active
  • Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy S8, S8+, and S8 Active
  • Galaxy Note 8

Huawei

  • Huawei P10
  • Huawei Mate 10
  • Honor 9
  • Honor View 10
  • Huawei Mate 9

A lot of other companies will be updating their phones with Android 9 Pie and to get a better update about your phone’s update schedule, you can follow your phone’s manufacturer’s information channels.

What features do I get if I update to Android 9 Pie?

The Android 9 Pie update actually brings changes to a couple of things and together they make this is a significant update. A lot of AI based features have been added to the new version and you can read move about them below.

System Usability

  • Gesture based navigation: Android is now getting rid of the navigation bar and moving on to gesture based navigation. There are new gestures to open the recents apps menu, and more. Getting around to your homescreen, opening Google Assistant and even browsing through the phone will have a change and will feel natural for devices that come with an 18:9 or higher aspect ratio screens.

Gesture based navigation

  • New Statusbar: An official support for the notch that you seen in modern smartphones nowadays. The statusbar will make space for the notch thereby making it not “unnatural” to have it on your phone.
  • Always on Display: With the rise of Always on Display feature in newer smartphones, it is about time Android came with an official support for the same. You will be able to see your notifications, time, calendar and more details. This will work well on smartphones with an AMOLED display.
  • Adaptive Battery: Your phone will now limit apps in the background to use the battery by learning your phone usage. This will result in a better battery life for your phone.

Adaptive Battery

  • New Quick Settings: The Quick Settings menu has been redesigned to give you more toggles and a new design. The icons have also been updated with this new version.
  • Screenshots: Taking screenshots on Android has been the same ever since we can remember. But now you can take screenshots from the Power Menu and not only that, but you will also be able to draw, annotate and crop these screenshots easily.
  • Rotation: A new button will be displayed in the navigator bar for rotation and you can control the rotation for the from right there. No need to switch on rotation for every app with one toggle as this will work on a per app basis.
  • App Actions: New App Actions will help you perform app actions as per your usage of your smartphone. This feature is supported by AI that learns how you use the phone and then suggests actions.

Notifications

  • Notification Based Smart Replies: You will now see suggested replies when you open up the notification shade to see notifications from messaging apps. You will also be able to see the images from the messages. Replies to the messages will now work inline which means the notification will not disappear after you have replies and you will be able to see the conversation.
  • Manage Notifications: Notification management has become better than it was on Android Oreo. You cam now turn off notifications for apps easily and even in different categories so you can now choose which notifications you want to receive from each app.

Privacy and Security

  • Android Backups: Android 9 Pie now lets you encrypt your Android backups using the device PIN, fingerprint or a password. This helps you keep your Android backups private and safe.
  • Privacy enhancements: Many privacy improvements which include features like blocked access to microphone so apps cannot snoop on your while minimized. Other improvements include more security while browsing the web.

Digital Wellbeing

Google has planned to introduce a dashboard on your phone with a bunch of features. This dashboard will show you your app usage statistics and introduces some new features to keep your phone usage in check.

  • App Limiter: The App Limiter will let you set a time restriction on the selected apps. Once the restriction has been set, you will be able to use the app only for the time allowed and after that you will see a notification telling you the time limitation and you will only be able to use the app on the next day.
  • Window Down: Wind Down, on the other hand, switches Night Light and Do Not Disturb automatically when you approach your bedtime and it will also grayscale your phone’s display indicating it is time to stop using your phone and getting to bed.
  • Do Not Disturb: The Do Not Disturb(DND) mode has also been updated to get rid of the pop-ups that show up on your screen which in turn will help you focus on what you’re doing while the DND mode is on.

Digital Wellbeing

The Digital Wellbeing feature is currently in Beta and is only available to users with a Pixel smartphone running Android 9 Pie. The official launch for the feature is set to this year’s fall and to other Android Pie users, the feature will be made available by the year end. Here’s how to get access to Digital Wellbeing Beta if you have a Pixel phone with Android Pie.

  • Head over to the Digital Wellbeing Beta website and enter your details.
  • After entering your details and submitting it, you will be invited to use this feature on your email. Accept the invite from your email.

After accepting the invite, the Digital Wellbeing Beta feature will be enabled for you within the next 24 hours.

All good, how do I update?

As mentioned above, Android 9 Pie is currently only available to a bunch of phones. This includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and the Essential PH-1. Other phones that participated in the Beta will be getting the update next and afterwards companies will start rolling out the update for eligible phones. You can read the confirmed list of phones getting the Android 9 Pie update above but new devices might be added so it is suggested that you follow your phone manufacturer’s information channels like their social media etc.

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