Google launches Android 9.0 Pie to Pixel phones, Essential Phone getting it too
Hungry for a slice of pie? We hope so, because that’s what Google is serving up today.
Google today confirmed Android 9.0 Pie. The update is now rolling out over the air to Pixel phones, and it’s also available as a factory image or OTA image if you’d prefer to update that way. Pie will roll out to devices in the Android P Beta Program — like those from Sony, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus — as well as qualifying Android One devices by the end of this fall.
Hot on the heels of Google’s Android Pie announcement, Essential confirmed that it’s now updating the Essential Phone to Android 9.0 Pie. Essential has been doing great with Android updates lately, and it’s awesome to see the company release its Android Pie update on the same day as Google sends it to Pixel phones.
As a refresher, there are a lot of new features included in Android 9.0 Pie. Google has introduced a new gesture-based navigation system, letting you do things like swipe up to get to the Overview. Here is where you’ll see your recent apps, and Pixel phone users will be able to select text from running apps while in Overview. There’s a redesigned Quick Settings included, too, along with a new way to take screenshots and simplified volume controls.
Google has also baked several AI features into Android Pie. Adaptive Battery will learn the apps you use most and prioritize battery for them, while Adaptive Brightness will figure out how you like your phone’s brightness set in different situations and then do it for you. And then there’s App Actions, which will try to predict what you’re going to do with your phone next. For example, you might be getting ready for your commute to work, and App Actions will suggest navigation in Google Maps or resuming an audiobook in Google Play Books.
Coming this fall is a new Android Pie feature called Slices. With it, you’ll be able to get important info from inside your apps without actually launching them. For example, you can type “Lyft” into Google Search and you’ll see fare prices for places like Home and Work as well as an ETA for the nearest car to your location.
Another major feature of Android 9.0 Pie is Digital Wellbeing. This includes a Dashboard to show you exactly how much you’ve been using your phone and an App Timer to help you control your usage. A new Do Not Disturb is included, too, along with a Wind Down feature that’ll turn on Night Light and Do Not Disturb and also fade your phone’s screen to grayscale to help you get to sleep.
Digital Wellbeing will launch to Google Pixel phones this fall, but you can sign up for the beta test right now.
Google highlighted Android 9.0 Pie’s improved security today, too. This includes an improved security model for biometrics, hardware security capabilities for protecting sensitve data using a secure chip, and privacy improvements like TLS by default and DNS over TLS.
If you update your phone to Android 9.0 Pie today, be sure to let us know what you think of the update!