Android 9 Pie’s is a no-brainer update, though a best is nonetheless to come

Android 9 Pie is now available, nonetheless should we refurbish ASAP?

If you’ve got a Google Pixel, Pixel 2, or Essential Phone  – a answer is yes. It’s a no-brainer update.

Sucks if we don’t possess one of these phones, though, since you’ll have to wait until after this year before we can get your Pie on. 

The wait should be shorter this time compared to prior Android releases since some-more inclination have upheld a release’s beta. But ultimately, it’s adult to device makers to confirm when they wish to recover Pie for their devices.

With that out of a way, what facilities can we demeanour brazen to in Pie and how good do they work so far?

Gesture-based navigation

The iPhone X kickstarted a trend of regulating gestures for navigating around a module and now Android Pie is following suit.

On Pie, a informed back, home, and new apps buttons are left and replacing them is a small pill-shaped home button/bar. The bar’s gestures work sorta like a gesticulate bar on a iPhone X, nonetheless not wholly so. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Return to home screen: Tap on on a bar

  • View open apps: Short appropriate adult towards center of screen

  • Return to prior open app: Swipe right from a gesticulate bar

  • Flip by open apps: Swipe right from a gesticulate bar and continue holding it down while swiping left and right

  • Launch app drawer: Long appropriate adult towards tip of shade or lift adult from bottom after a brief swipe

  • Launch Google Assistant: Long press on gesticulate bar

  • Back button: Appears subsequent to a home tablet when an app’s open

Perform a brief appropriate from a home gesticulate bar to perspective all open apps.

Perform a brief appropriate from a home gesticulate bar to perspective all open apps.


A prolonged appropriate from a home gesticulate bar opens adult a app drawer.

A prolonged appropriate from a home gesticulate bar opens adult a app drawer.


Using gestures takes some removing used to. I’ve been regulating an iPhone X for scarcely a year so it wasn’t tough to collect adult after a few minutes. If we unequivocally aren’t feeling a gestures, we can return behind to a on-screen navigation buttons. 

It’s good to have a choice between gestures and on-screen buttons, nonetheless it’s not like a gesticulate bar creates navigating Android significantly faster. On iPhone X, a gesticulate bar during slightest means some-more of a shade can be used for displaying content. But on Pie, a bar uses adult a same volume of straight pixels as on-screen navigation buttons, withdrawal small benefit.

But hey, whatevs. New navigation!

AI in some-more places

Whether we literally see it or not, Google’s sprinkled another healthy sip of AI via Pie. 

First, there’s a Adaptive Brightness setting. Besides adjusting a screen’s liughtness formed on your environment, Android is now means to learn your preferences formed on your possess adjustments. So for example, if we reduce a liughtness right before bed any night during 10 p.m. Pie will automatically make this composition for you. It’s flattering nifty.

Similarly, there’s an Adaptive Battery underline that’s ostensible to learn that apps we use a many and prioritize them in sequence to preserve power.

Never adjust your liughtness sourroundings again!

Never adjust your liughtness sourroundings again!

Image: screenshot: raymond wong/mashable

App Action shortcuts uncover adult during a tip of a app drawer.

App Action shortcuts uncover adult during a tip of a app drawer.


There’s also an “App Actions” underline — fundamentally by-pass buttons — that uses AI to envision what we competence wish to do next. For instance, if we block in your headphones, Pie competence give we a by-pass to your new playlist. These App Actions live during a tip of your app drawer (you can also pin them on your home screen), nonetheless it’s misleading how they stock and how visit they appear.

For a brief bit, Pie showed me dual App Actions — one for directions to go home within Google Maps and a other to call my mom. I’m not certain since it showed a info for my invert home when it was usually 3:00 p.m. and we never leave work until during slightest 6 p.m. And we theory a module suspicion we wanted to call my mom since we did so in a morning.

Either way, App Actions doesn’t feel finish as of a initial Pie release. A reboot erased a dual App Actions and we couldn’t figure out a approach to get them back. I’d adore to see some-more App Actions seem as we use my phone.

Stuff that’s not prepared yet

As my co-worker Karissa Bell noted, Pie’s got a whole garland of “digital wellbeing” facilities that are designed to assistance we improved know how you’re regulating your phone so that maybe we can stop regulating it so much. we know, we need more data to learn how to use your device less. The irony!

Features like a dashboard for time spent with minute information on that apps we use a many and how prolonged we use them for, app times for sourroundings boundary (because stoicism is overrated) and a “Wind Down and Do Not Disturb” underline that can blur your phone’s interface to grayscale (sucking all a tone out of your phone’s module creates we less likely to wish to rivet with it) and overpower notifications are identical those in iOS 12, nonetheless they’re not entirely baked yet. 

The facilities are in beta — if we possess a Pixel phone with Pie commissioned we can sign adult for it here (you don’t need to be partial of a Android beta module to get it) — so we wasn’t means to try them out.

However, if they’re anything like a Screen Time facilities on iOS, they’ll possibly make we hyper wakeful you’ve got a genuine obsession to your phone and certain apps, or maybe you’ll be like me and brush it all off even with all a information laid out in front of you.

Slices, that shows name dash facilities from an app within a Google hunt bar, also won’t be accessible until later. Unlike a digital wellbeing features, it isn’t partial of any beta. So we’ll have to wait to try this out as well.

Mmm, Pie

Though Pie is accessible for Pixel phones and a Essential Phone, a best facilities have nonetheless to come out.

So far, Pie seems like a plain update. There are a integrate of tweaks (like a new straight volume slider) I’m certain will take some time to grow on me, nonetheless we like what Google’s charity in a latest Android release.

I haven’t used my Pixel 2 XL and Essential Phone with Pie prolonged adequate to see how it affects battery life, nonetheless we already beheld a strike to performance. On a Pixel 2 XL, a home shade became delayed and laggy a integrate of times. A reboot stabilized Pie any time, nonetheless it’s transparent there’s still some bugs that need to be squashed.

But if you’re rocking Pixel phone or Essential Phone, there’s no reason not to refurbish to Pie. Fast module updates are one of a perks of owning these phones, after all.

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