Android 9 Pie has just officially been served to us with a new look and new features. For those lucky enough to have a Pixel or Essential phone you’re already running it. While many of us will still be waiting to enjoy our Android Pie ala mode in the future. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the features that make Android 9 Pie so delicious.
First and foremost is adaptive battery. One of the biggest complaints and headaches with your phone is running out of juice. Android Pie takes care of this for you with their new artificial intelligence learning algorithms. Android takes a look at what apps you use, how often you use them, and when. With this information, it can adjust what apps use your power and when, providing you more battery life to get through the day.
Beginning with Android P, your notifications just got supercharged. In the past, you were able to send replies but now you’ll have the option of smart replies. That means less typing for you and a quicker way to deal with your notifications. Even better, you will be able to see previews of photos sent in the notification as well.
More info on your lock screen
Your lock screen and always on display just got more useful. Android Pie will now show your weather and calendar events. The most exciting part for me is that I won’t even have to turn on my display to see my upcoming events or weather. I’ll simply have to glance at the always on display and move along with my day.
App Actions put Google’s AI front and center with the software trying to predict what you need to save you time. For instance, when you’re getting ready to leave for work in the morning quick shortcuts to Google Maps and your music app would appear up top.
Another example would be when you connect headphones and a shortcut for the last playlist you listened to would appear. Over time the AI should get to know you better helping you launch what you want faster and easier.
Meet your new intelligent adaptive brightness. Sure we are all used to our brightness adjusting automatically to our surroundings. We are also accustomed to setting our own threshold to our own personal tastes. These abilities are still here in Android Pie. However, it will now learn our preferences and adjust on its own based on these preferences.
Beginning in Android Pie when an app is idle or running in the background Android will restrict access to sensors such as the microphone, camera, and more. If the app requires this permission to run then there will be a persistent notification always shown. Making sure you know what apps are listening to you at all times. One of the best ways to know you are secure is through transparency and Pie is serving us a big helping of that.
Redesigned Volume Controls
The volume controls and the way they function were redesigned in Android Pie. The controls have been changed to a vertical orientation and moved to the edge with the volume rocker. Not only is this easier to adjust one handed but it makes more sense with it closer to the physical buttons. Another change is by default it will control your media volume. No more trying to adjust the media volume only to have it adjust your ringtone or some other random volume level.
New Overview Menu
The new overview menu where you view your recently used applications has gotten a serious overhaul. Instead of the old Rolodex view where you vertically scroll through your apps, it has gone horizontal.
Now you see a full preview of your app and you use the scrubber on the bottom to move through them. The full view of the app also comes with new features such as the ability to copy and paste text from the overview menu itself.
Unlike many of the other features, Digital Wellbeing was not a part of the Android P preview program. Instead, it was launched in beta form along with the official release of Android Pie. Digital Wellbeing looks to help you take control of your digital life and the time you spend on your phone.
Think of it as something similar to counting calories or wearing a fitness tracker. Once you start seeing those calories add up or realize how stationary you’ve been, it motivates you to make a change.
With Digital Wellbeing tracking your phone usage you’ll be more likely to cut back the time spent on your phone or on certain apps. Just like a fitness tracker, you can set goals or limits on apps and it will remind you when you’ve reached that limit.
Whether or not this will actually cause you to make a change is yet to be seen and it’s currently in beta for Pixel users only at the moment. Regardless, given the right tools and determination, anyone can make a change.