Google will start rolling out Android 9 Pie (formerly known as Android P) to Pixel phones today followed by devices from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential by the end of the fall.
As outlined at Google I/O, Android 9 Pie is really about morphing the mobile operating system to a platform for the search giant’s artificial intelligence. If successful, Android Pie should enable differentiation from Apple’s iPhone juggernaut.
Among the key features:
- Android 9 will feature Adaptive Battery, which prioritizes app based on power consumption, and Adaptive Brightness for the display.
- AI-driven App Actions, which predict what you’ll do based on context.
- Slices, which plucks information from favorite apps for display.
- Navigation tools such as a single home button, overview design and smart text selection.
- Redesigned settings for everything from notifications to volume controls and taking screenshots.
- Digital wellness features such as App Timer, Do Not Disturb and Wind Down.
For developers, Android Pie includes the following:
- TextClassifier API that extends machine learning models to more input such as dates and flight numbers.
- Neural Networks API 1.1, an update that supports on-device machine learning as well as support for new operations.
- Multi-camera APIs that open streams from two or more physical cameras.
- A Magnifier widget to improve the experience when selecting text.
- BiometricPrompt API to standardize biometrics across sensor types and apps.
- Stronger protection for private keys, built-in DNS support and HTTPS by default.
The Android P launch: