This year’s new version of Android finally got its official name: Android 9 Pie!
It has several new features that are mostly powered by Artificial Intelligence or AI. There’s Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, App Actions, Slices, Smart Text Selection, Gesture Navigation, Dashboard, App Timer, Wind Down, support for screen notches and more.
Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness
Android 9 Pie leverages Google’s advances in machine learning and AI to make automatic adjustments on screen brightness. This time, it doesn’t just depend on the amount of ambient light but also on the activity and user’s preferences.
Meanwhile, Adaptive Battery helps conserve battery power by limiting the power consumption of apps that are not used often. Again, AI is used to determine which apps should be subjected to adaptive battery.
App Actions and Slices
Other AI features that come with Android 9 Pie are App Actions and Slices. App actions are clickable buttons that appear on the screen during a specific time or when a peripheral is connected.
For example, a button to call someone or play a Spotify playlist will appear when a headphone is plugged in.
On the other hand, Slices are app functions that appear directly when searching on Google Search. It’s an attempt to lessen the number of clicks a user has to make to get what they want.
Gesture Navigation and Smart Text Selection
Android 9 Pie has a new navigation system. Instead of the usual home, back and recent button, it now has a single home button that looks more like a bar.
Here are some of the gestures and their corresponding actions:
Tap – go to the home screen
Swipe up – open full-screen previews of recent apps
Long swipe up – open the app drawer
Long press – open the Google Assistant
Swipe right – switch to the previous app
A back button also appears whenever there’s a need to go back to a previous screen while navigating.
Smart Text Selection adds options when a word or phrase is highlighted based on its meaning. In addition to Copy and Cut, an option to search for reviews might appear when a movie title is highlighted.
Android 9 Pie addresses smartphone addiction by introducing three new features: Dashboard, App Timer, and Wind Down.
The Dashboard shows the amount of time spent of different apps as well as the number of unlocks made and notifications received. Time limits for individual apps can then be set in App Timer. Lastly, Wind Down turns on Night Light and Do Not Disturb Mode in a set time.