The name of Google's next version of Android has officially been announced. Android 9 is Android Pie. The launch came much earlier than what was predicted, August 20th.
Here's what's new in Android 9.
Perhaps we should start with the biggest change.
Android Pie Swipe Gesture System Navigation
Android Pie gets rid of the on-screen nav bar (aka on-screen buttons for back, home and recent apps). Instead, it uses a single home button (which looks like a long dash/minus/hyphen) and swipe gesture system navigation. Swipe up from any screen to see a full screen preview of apps which you used recently and tap to switch to the centered app. To go back to the home screen just tap the new home button.
You can swipe up twice quickly to access the app drawer, this also works with a longer swipe. But, where is the back button? There isn't one, at least not in most apps. For example: the back button is visible only when the app you are using, allows you to navigate to the previous screen.
I hate to say it, but Google has taken a slice from
Apple Pie iOS 12 with the gesture based navigation.
Android Pie Adaptive Battery
This feature in Android Pie allows your phone to learn your usage pattern, to maximize the system resources for apps which you use the most. Adaptive Battery relies on older features like Doze, App Standby and Background limits to provide an optimal experience. This will allow for a longer battery life.
Android Pie App Actions
Android 9 intelligently predicts your action, based on your usage pattern. For example searching for a movie's name can offer results which take you to the ticket purchase page, the trailer page, etc. Highlighting an artist's name on a web page or a text can bring up a relevant app in the context menu, for e.g. Spotify may be displayed next to the copy, select all and other options.
Android Pie Refreshed Settings App and Quick Settings
The Settings app in Android Pie has colourful icons for each section, instead of the dull monochrome of previous versions. Likewise, the Quick Settings section now has round icons instead of the shape of the icon. This is very useful, because you can easily tell when a quick setting is enabled (toggled) when the background colour of the icon changes.
Android Pie Slices
No, you are not getting actual slices from a pie. Instead, the Android Pie Slices are kind of like rich previews of other apps in Google Search and Google Assistant.
Android Pie Text Selection Magnifier
The text selection option in Android 9 has a new text magnifier, which brings up a widget which displays zoomed-in version of the text just above the selected content, to help you mark content more easily.
Are you ready for Android Pie? It has been released for Pixel devices already, and reports are suggesting that the Essential Phone has also gotten the OTA update.