The latest version of Android is coming to more and more smartphones. A new way of navigation, the help of artificial intelligence and better control over your smartphone use are central to Android 9.0 Pie. A good time to see what the latest Android version has to offer us.
Android 9.0 Pie is the successor to Android 8.0 Oreo and was officially unveiled at the Google IO 2018 on May 13 . The latest version of the Android operating system is now available on a few models. Google’s Pixel phones were the first, while other manufacturers are also recently, or in the near future, offering the latest version of the Android operating system. A good time to see what Android 9.0 Pie has to offer us all.
Android 9.0 Pie: new way of navigating
As soon as you have installed Android 9.0 Pie, you immediately see that the three traditional buttons at the bottom of the screen are missing. The triangle, square and circle have disappeared and are replaced by an elongated bar with rounded corners. Okay, now what? Don’t panic, because the new way of navigating works very intuitively. Simply swipe up to see previews of recently used applications and switch between them by swiping from left to right. With the new gestures, you actually have all the functions of the old three buttons at your disposal and you will quickly master the new way of navigating. Can’t get used to it? Then it is good to know that the three traditional buttons are still available. As a user you can therefore choose which way of navigation you want to use. The type of navigation, the old three buttons or the new navigation with gestures, is set by default depending on the manufacturer. Via the settings you can easily switch between the new and the old navigation.
What you will also encounter while navigating, for example via Google Search , are small cuts of apps you have installed. Google takes these little cut-outs ‘Slices’. As an example Google gives the app Lyft. For example, as soon as you search for Lyft in Google Search, you immediately see the nearest driver, the price of the ride home or to work and the time it will take. Via ‘Actions’ you can also directly use deeper functions of certain apps in various places.
Get more out of your battery with artificial intelligence
Google wants to offer a more personalized experience for the user with Android 9.0 Pie. This means that the smartphone must serve the user more and be able to respond precisely to the needs. Google does this by means of artificial intelligence. The system must get to know the habits of the user and responds to this by making certain apps ready at times when you use them, while it moves other apps and services more to the background.
In this way, the artificial intelligence not only helps you to get more out of the battery via ‘Adaptive Battery’, but also makes apps ready for you with App Actions if you often use them at a specific time. Do you often check your e-mail in the morning? Then it is immediately ready for you at the top of the list of apps. Do you plug in your earplugs? You will find your favorite music services right at the top. Do you always call your partner immediately after work? The system recognizes your patterns and puts the call button for your partner ready for you as soon as you are free. The system will also recognize the desired brightness thanks to ‘Adaptive Brightness’. Android 9.0 Pie learns how bright you want your screen to be under various circumstances and then applies this automatically when the situation requires it.
Limit your smartphone use with Digital Wellbeing
Although the smartphone has enriched our lives in many areas, it is also a bit of a hit for some people. Smartphone addiction really does exist, in which social media in particular can cause problems to always want to stay informed of all updates. The Digital Wellbeing feature helps to keep your smartphone use under control. This function allows you to map your entire smartphone usage per day. How much time do you spend with a particular app? How often do you check your smartphone? And how many hours do you spend on your smartphone every day? For many people, Digital Wellbeing will be quite confronting, as you may be spending a lot more time on your phone than you actually want. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some users) this feature is not yet available in the Netherlands,
Fortunately, this function not only provides insight into your smartphone usage, but you can also set limits via App Timers. For example, set fifteen minutes per day for Facebook and after this time you can no longer use the app. You can also block certain apps after a certain time, so that you can no longer view your e-mail after 10 p.m., for example. At the moment Digital Wellbeing is still in a testing phase. It is available for the Pixel phones but will come to smartphones from other manufacturers later on.
A better night’s sleep without notifications
Also new is the Do No Disturb (do not disturb function) that you can set. Set a schedule when it’s bedtime and the screen will automatically turn gray, while the notifications will be blocked by Do Not Disturb mode. This way you will not be disturbed during your well-deserved night’s rest. You can easily switch on the Do Not Disturb outside of this, for example during a dinner with friends or a meeting at work.
More control over your notifications
Android 9.0 Pie also gives you more control over your incoming notifications. Message services can now immediately display so-called ‘smart replies’ in your notification bar. This way you can immediately send a response with one touch on the screen. You can now also see images directly in the notification. Do you receive notifications from certain apps that you are actually not waiting for? As soon as you swipe a specific notification aside, you will immediately receive a message whether you want to receive these notifications in the future. This way you can immediately block notifications from less interesting apps and you will not be bothered by this in the future.
Android 9.0 Pie: Lots of smaller changes
In addition to the above bigger changes, there are also plenty of minor changes in the latest version of Android. For example, Android 9.0 Pie now offers support for multiple cameras, for example to be able to view the images directly in two streams. There is now direct support for the notch (screen notch) and better support for edge-to-edge screens. You can now connect to five different Bluetooth devices at the same time and easily switch between them. Incoming calls are immediately sent to all connected devices, so you won’t miss a message. There is now built-in support for high dynamic range (hdr), so that you can directly watch hdr content on YouTube and Google Play Movies.
All in all, Android 9.0 Pie is a worthy successor to Android 8.0 Oreo and it is good to see that Google really wants to bring renewal to the operating system this time. The new way of navigation, help from artificial intelligence to last longer with your battery and more control for the user are a big step forward for the user.