Android Pie (aka Android 9) was released on August 6th, 2018. Following on from the success of Android Oreo, Android Pie truly harnesses the power of AI. In fact, Google claim that it's the smartest, fastest operating system yet.
Curious to learn what Android Pie can bring to your device? You're in the right place. Discover the operating system's best bits below.
Why Android Pie?
Android operating systems have been named after sweet treats in alphabetical order for years. The first was Donut, followed by Éclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. The list goes on, finishing with Oreo in 2017 and most recently Pie in 2018.
As for Android P ending up as Pie - we have a feeling it might have something to do with one of the system's newest features: Slices.
Think of Slices as an intelligent shortcut feature. Now, whenever you use Google Search on your phone, a relevant app won't be the only thing that pops up. Instead, a whole host of actions will appear.
For example, when you need to book a taxi typing ride in the search bar will bring up a taxi app (like Uber, or Lyft). You'll also see suggestions to go Home or to Work to help you quickly secure a ride to your most frequently visited locations.
Slices will officially launch in Autumn 2018, and as developers become familiar with the it users can expect even more apps to work with this super-efficient feature in the future.
Wellbeing is currently a major concern in the digital world, and Android has created a handful of features to help increase awareness of how much time users spend on their smartphones.
The first is Dashboard. Here, you'll find information on how many notifications you've received in the past 24 hours, how much time you've spent on certain apps and how often you check your phone. If discover that you pick your phone up ten times per hour, then it might be time to consider Pie's other features, such as Wind Down and App Timers.
Wind Down helps you switch off at night - all you have to do is choose a bedtime. As sleep approaches, your phone will turn on a blue light filter (to reduce eye strain) and begin to grey-out the screen. Do Not Disturb mode will turn on automatically, so sounds and visual interruptions like notifications will be disabled. However, you'll still receive calls from your starred contacts in case of an emergency.
Android Pie's other major wellbeing feature is App Timers. Designed to help you monitor the amount of time spent on specific apps like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, you can manually set daily limits for each app on your smartphone. Once you've maxed out your time, access will be denied until the next day.
Sick of being bombarded by notifications? Androind Pie has the answer. If you frequently dismiss notifications from the same app, you'll be prompted to mute them completely. You can choose to turn them back on by heading to Settings, where you'll also be able to set weekly notification limits too. Only want to hear from Twitter 10 times a week? Just adjust the frequency and enjoy the silence.
With Android Pie, it's also much easier to respond to messages. Tap the notification and you'll find a bunch of smart replies. Your device will offer a relevant quick reply to the text you've just received.
Smarter navigation and actions
Gestures are being favoured massively over physical buttons with Android's latest operating system. Swipe up on the home button twice to view all your apps, or once to view recently opened apps. Some gestures can be edited as well, depending on the handset you own. Just visit Settings > System > Gestures.
Android Pie doesn't forget, even when you exit an app or turn off your phone. App Actions will predict your next move, helping you to complete tasks quickly. About to go to work? You'll find an easy-access link to Maps with your morning commute pre-loaded. Just connected your headphones? Your most recent playlist on Spotify or Google Play Music will instantly appear.
Designed to adapt
AI is a big deal for Android Pie, and two features that truly help this new technology to shine are Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Battery.
First up, Adaptive Brightness. Designed to adjust to the world around you, your screen’s brightness levels will change automatically depending on your environment. In a dark room? The screen will dim. Outside in the sun? Brightness levels will rise so you can see with absolute clarity.
Adaptive battery is a feature that improves over time. Analysing how you use your phone, it learns which apps and services you use the most. It will then intelligently restrict access to those you don't, so they can't unnecessarily drain your battery.
And that's not all Android Pie has to offer. You can find the entire list of features on Android's website, and find Android Pie-ready phones for a fantastic price at Mobiles.co.uk today.