The newest version of Android is here! Named Android 9.0 Pie it introduces some interesting features (adaptive battery functionality, improved material design, and more) that will change the way you use Android. These are welcome additions after the last few versions of Android brought mostly small tweaks. Due to Android’s fragmentation, Pie will slowly roll out to devices in the coming months and won’t look exactly the same on everyone. Whether you’ve downloaded already or are looking forward to it, here are the best Android Pie Features you must know about.
New material design
Android Pie has a new look overall. Slightly rounded corners on notifications and the quick settings pane are continued throughout the interface. It’s a modern material design,
Android has used a standard three-button navigation bar at the bottom of the screen for ages. In Pie, you can drop the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons in favor of a new gesture-based navigation system. Gesture navigation is turned off by default, but you can quickly enable it from Settings > Gestures > Swipe up on Home button. You will see a pill-shaped button at the screen’s bottom
- Tap the new pill-shaped Home button to go home.
- If your current view can use the Back button, you’ll see it appear where it always has.
- Swipe up on the Home button to open the Recent view. Here, move left and right to check out the list, and swipe up to clear a recent app. Press and hold an app’s icon to see the Split screen option. You can even interact with apps in this view to select and copy text.
- Swipe up on the Home button twice and you’ll open your app drawer.
- Swipe right and hold on Home to slowly scroll between apps and release to open the one in the middle.
- Swipe right quickly and release to switch to the previous app.
- Press and hold the Home button to open Google Assistant as before.
This may take a bit to get used to, but it offers smoother methods of navigation compared to the old style.
Adaptive Battery and Brightness
Android has made our lives easier with its automated features, and now, Pie makes them smarter by introducing Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness.
Adaptive Battery is an expansion of the Doze feature introduced in Android 6 Marshmallow. Doze put apps that you weren’t using into a “deep sleep” to prevent them from wasting battery. Now, Adaptive Battery goes further by learning about the apps and services you use most often, then adjusting what you don’t use as much to use less battery.
This is enabled by default, but you can toggle it at Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery. Note that apps you don’t use often may have delayed notifications due to this.
Android’s automatic brightness also gets an upgrade in Pie. Now, your phone will learn the brightness level you prefer in certain apps and environments and adjust it automatically. You can help train it by opening the Quick Settings panel (pull down on the notification bar twice) and adjusting the brightness as needed.
The App Actions
Google’s launcher before now predicted that the apps you are most likely to utilize are based on the time of the particular day. So with App Actions, you can swiftly initiate the required tasks by forecasting what you desire to do.
For instance, you might observe a shortcut to commence Google Maps navigation to get executed in the morning time. At the job or work, you might observe an App Action chat with your colleagues on the Hangout. Also, when you plug in the headphones, you will observe an App Action for your most up to date playlist. These are alike to the app shortcuts accessible by long-pressing icons, which in turn were stirred by 3D Touch on the iPhone. With intelligent predictions, you can utilize them more frequently.
New Screenshot Shortcut
The default Power + Volume Down button combination for shortcuts is a little awkward. Thus, in Android Pie, you can take a shortcut from the Power menu anytime. What’s more, you can also tap the Edit command in the notification that appears to make adjustments to your shot right away.
Easier Screen Rotation
Android automatically switches your screen orientation based on how it’s situated. You can lock the orientation to portrait or landscape, but this turns into pain if you need to switch often.
In Pie, if you have Auto-Rotate turned off, you’ll see a new icon on the right side of the navigation bar when you rotate your device to landscape. Tap it to lock in landscape orientation, and it will stay even if you turn back to portrait. Just tap the icon again to rotate back to portrait.
Digital Wellbeing is a set of features to help you know and restrict the amount of time you spend on your smartphone. It is hard to believe that most of us are addicted to these small screens, and Digital Wellbeing tries to rescue you from your addiction of checking out your phone on every notification or such.
Its dashboard shows you data and graphs, like the number of times you unlock your phone, the number of notifications you receive from each app, and the amount of time you spend on your device.
Similar to App Actions the Slices feature enables you to see informative data when you search for apps using the Google Search app. What’s good about this feature is you can skip right to performing the listed actions displayed in the informative dialogue.
For example, search for lyft in the Google search app and you will have the option to call for a ride to take you to your office, house, etc. with the prices displayed respectively as well.
Improved Security Features
According to Google, the latest Android Pie “restricts access to mic, camera, and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle”. This means that even if you’ve granted permission for an app to access your microphone, it can’t do so unless you’re actively using it.
Device Lockdown is a lock screen feature to lock down your device. It disables notifications on the lock screen and disables unlocking using one of the fingerprint and Smart Lock. That means you must use your password, pattern, or PIN to unlock the device.
You can enable this feature by going to Settings > “Security & location” >“Lock screen preferences” and toggling on the option named “Show lockdown option“. Once enabled, long-press the power button and tap Lockdown to use it.
Volume and Sound Improvements
When you press a Volume button, you’ll notice the slider now appears on the right side instead of the top. What’s more, pressing volume buttons now changes the Media volume instead of the Ringer volume like before. This simple volume tweak makes it easier to avoid opening a YouTube video and accidentally playing it at full blast.
Tap the Note icon to mute or unmute media audio. You can tap the icon above this to toggle your Calls volume between Ring, Vibrate, and Mute. You’ll need to select the Gear icon to open the Sound menu and make detailed adjustments.
Selectable Dark Mode
Android Oreo included a dark mode, but the system automatically decided whether to enable it based on your wallpaper. But Android P features a notable option to manually change from different themes. Under the display advanced settings, you can select whichever theme you prefer.
Settings > System > Display > Advanced > Device theme.
Again, the theme settings will only apply to the app drawer and the notification shade.
Native notch Support
Android Pie adds native support for cutouts. Sure, notched Android phones are already widely available from various makers, but by baking in support natively, it ought to make for a more consistent UI experience – particularly for notifications.
Which one do you like most? Let us know on comments below, also read: