After first previewing the software at Google I/O in May, the later Android operating system is finally available–well, if you have the right phone.
Google has released Android P– its official name is “Android Pie”–to the public after months of beta testing. Without a doubt, this is the second-most anticipated software release this year. The most anticipated, Apple’s iOS 12, should ship to the public in another 4-6 weeks.
Android Pie has a TON of new features and even more refinements. Some of the new features are ripped from iPhone X–while others google can claim as their own ideas.
As for just what those great new features are–and how you can get your hands on Android Pie–here’s everything you need to know.
Android 9 Pie: How Can I Get It?
Unfortunately, just because you have an Android device doesn’t mean you can download Android Pie. You’ll need to wait until your phone’s manufacturer supports the new OS.
Right now people with Google Pixel smartphones, or the Essential Phone, however, can download Android Pie right away.
Do this by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System update and tap the “Check for update” button.
As for Samsung, Huawei, and other Android devices, expect to see Android Pie available roll out over the remainder of the year.
Best New Android Pie Features
1) Android 9 Pie: New System Navigation
This is perhaps the biggest change to Android Pie. Android Pie sees an all-new system navigation that will mostly do away with the three digital buttons found at the bottom of the screen.
Instead, the new system sees a bar at the bottom of the screen you swipe up on (hello, iPhone X) that allows you to swipe between open apps, see your most recently used apps, and access your entire app drawer. If you’re leery about this change–don’t be. Android was right to steal this from the iPhone X.
2) Android 9 Pie: Better Battery Features
This is also a very welcome change. Android Pie includes a feature called “Adaptive Battery” that uses artificial intelligence to automatically manage your battery power. Adaptive Battery will allow Android Pie to prioritize battery power for the apps and services you use the most. This will give you more overall battery life–always a plus.
3) Android 9 Pie: Smarter Android
And the AI in Android Pie isn’t there to just help you with managing your battery life. It also offers things including “Adaptive Brightness” that learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings and adjusts it automatically.
Another AI feature called “App Actions” will help you get to your next task more quickly by predicting what you want to do next. For example, if you plug in your headphones, Android Pie will suggest that you open your favorite music app if that’s normally what you do after you plug in your headphones.
4) Android 9 Pie: Better Screenshot Tools
Again, thank the iPhone here. With iOS 11 Apple improved the iPhone’s screenshot tools, allowing you to immediately markup and share a screenshot you just took without needing to open up the image in an image editing app. Well, the exact same feature is now in Android Pie.
5) Android 9 Pie: Missing Features
Unfortunately, Android Pie doesn’t have all the features Google originally showed off in its beta version. Upon its launch, Android Pie is missing its new “Digital Wellbeing” dashboard. The dashboard will let you see things like how long you spend on your phone–and in individual apps. There’s also a really cool feature that allows you to set app timers that alert you you’ve spent more than your prescribed time in an app.
Another missing feature is “Slices”, which displays information from apps directly within the Google search app. While it’s a bummer these features are missing, Google says it will add them back to Android Pie later this year via software updates.