Today, Google unwrapped its latest Android dessert: Android Pie (Android 9). Android Pie has been in the Developer Preview state for a few months now and is quite a step up from Android Oreo. It brings a significant UI overhaul based on the latest Material Design guidelines as well as some interesting user-facing features such as gesture navigation (which will be mandatory on the Google Pixel 3), Digital Wellbeing (now in beta), and other features like Slices and App Actions. The final, stable update is currently being rolled out to the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2 line, as well as to the Essential Phone. Lastly, Google has begun uploading the Android 9 source code to the Android Open Source Project, better known as AOSP.
This is pretty exciting for Android enthusiasts. Now that the source code is here, developers of custom ROMs can now get started on porting the latest release onto their devices. Developers can download the Android Pie source code and attempt to compile it for their own devices. The first Android 9-based custom ROMs should appear in our forums in the next few days, but don’t expect a great level of polish just yet as there will definitely be bugs that’ll need to be ironed out.
However, thanks to Project Treble support on all devices launched with Android Oreo this year as well as several devices updated to Android Oreo, getting the Android Pie release up and running should be less difficult (though it’ll still be a challenge.) Google has even published a page instructing developers on how to build a Generic System Image (GSI) as they promised in their Reddit AMA last month.
We will be digging into the AOSP drop in the following days to see what Google is bringing to the table with Android Pie. If you want to have a look at this latest release, you can do so by visiting the Android Open Source Project webpage down below. Keep in mind that the source may not fully be available yet, but when it is available in all branches you should see an android-9.0.0_r1 tag.