Within the new range of technology products, we find the new incarnation of Android has arrived punctually to his appointment. As we expected, Google revealed yesterday the definitive name by which we will know from now on the latest version of its operating system for smartphones. Android 9 Pie, as it is called, is already landing on its own devices (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and company) and on the Essential Phone, and in the coming weeks will be landing on devices participating in the Android Beta program as confirmed by Google.
The other smartphones will have to wait a little longer, but apparently, many models of brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Sony Mobile, OnePlus, OPPO, LG or Xiaomi, among others, will receive their update next fall. Knowing the strategy that Google and the mobile manufacturers will follow to deploy this operating system is important because it can help us to calm our anxiety and to intuit how long we will have to wait until it is available for our smartphone.
The deployment of the Android 9 Pie updates has already started and Google has confirmed that during this autumn it will reach many models of the major brands
But what’s really interesting is to know the reasons why it’s worth welcoming Android 9 Pie with open arms. Google spokespersons have worked hard to explain to us that their new proposal is full of artificial intelligence (AI). But this phrase in itself doesn’t say much. It would not be the first time that a company has used this technology as a marketing tool. What matters to us users is how well this operating system can improve our experience.
Fortunately, since this review of Android was presented during the last edition of Google I/O until yesterday we have been learning about most of the new features incorporated by Mountain View in this software. And testing them out thanks to the beets they’ve been releasing. Many of them paint well. Really good, really good. And they do it because, on paper, they will allow us to get more out of our mobile phones and improve our experience. If you want to know the ones that promise to make a difference, I suggest you keep reading.
1. More autonomy
The tentacles of artificial intelligence spread everywhere. Well used can be very useful to help Android to know our routines and habits of use, with the aim of using this information to reduce the consumption of the terminal, how is it possible?. Simply by reserving energy for those processes and applications we actually use and depriving those we do not use of it. The role of artificial intelligence in this context is none other than to learn how we use our phones and make the appropriate decisions to reduce energy consumption. This feature of Android 9 Foot is called Adaptive Battery.
According to Google, Android 9 Foot reduces CPU usage by 30% compared to the previous review of this operating system
The front we have just gone into is important, but there is another one that also has a profound impact on consumption: the lighting of the screen. Lighting the huge panels that our smartphones currently use requires a significant energy investment, so one way to save energy is to adjust the intensity of lighting to the minimum essential.
This is not really new. Real-time lighting adjustment has been done by mobile phones for several generations. What Android 9 Pie contemplates is the possibility of adjusting the brightness not only taking as a reference the sensor that evaluates the ambient brightness, but also our tastes. If we like to reduce or increase the brightness in a certain time zone or with a certain application, Android will discover it and adjust it for us. This feature on Google is called adaptive brightness.
Artificial intelligence can also help the operating system work faster. Or, at least, to give us the feeling that it does what we want to do in less time. An ingenious way to achieve this requires anticipating our actions in order to implement them before we give the order. This is where Android’s artificial intelligence and its ability to recognize patterns and learn from them comes into play again.
This component of Android 9 Pie has been called App Actions, and its objective is to predict what we are about to do to start doing it before we ask the operating system to do it. It seems very complicated, and I’m sure it is very complicated, but we all constantly resort to routines that we repeat over and over again, even when we use our mobile phone, so we are recreating patterns that artificial intelligence algorithms are very good at recognizing and interpreting.
3. More efficiency
We continue in the domains of artificial intelligence. One of the most interesting new features of Android 9 Pie is its ability to analyze context information and use it to improve our experience. This simply means that the AI is able to identify which parts of each app or function are most relevant to us in order to anticipate our actions, thus placing them in the foreground.
One example that Google has used to illustrate this feature, and that we could use to recover now, is a search. If we like cinema and we use our smartphone to check the location and the billboard of the cinemas in our city, Android will identify it and every time we start this search will put the results that interest us first without having to specify everything. In our example, it will be enough to tell you that we are looking for a cinema to tell us its location and its billboard.
4. More intuitive navigation and gestures
In this area, it seems that Google has borrowed some ideas implemented by Apple on its iPhone. And, if they are useful to us, to the users, welcome. And that is that the gestures are going to take on a very important weight when we move through the Android interface. If, for example, we slide our finger up from the bar at the bottom of the screen we will access the apps that are running to put the one we want in the foreground. In short, this improvement is intended to make the buttons less relevant in favor of a more intuitive way of using our smartphones.
5. More precision
We’re back to the realms of artificial intelligence. One more time. Another interesting feature of Android 9 Foot that will allow this operating system review to outperform its predecessor is its ability to analyze the text we select in an app more accurately. Usually, when we do this we need to transport the information contained in the block of text we have selected from one app to another. And what the operating system is trying to do in this context is to make it a little easier for us by suggesting appropriate actions right at the moment we select the text.
Not only will the context menu appear with the usual copy, paste or share options, but also, for example, send, locate, call, attach or whatever. It is simply a question of the operating system being able to correctly interpret what is in the block of text we have selected and suggest appropriate actions.
6. More control
Another interesting feature of Google’s new operating system for smartphones is its ability to give us more information about how we use our mobile phone. One component that plays a central role in this area is the dashboard. By using it, we can know the exact frequency with which we use our terminal, how many notifications we receive, how much time we spend on each app, how often we consult our mobile phone, etc.
These statistics can help us to internalize our habits in order to use the phone more responsibly. And they can also be valuable, for example, to make sure that children don’t overdo it with the time they spend on these devices. The control panel even allows us to define alarms that will warn us if we exceed the time we want to spend on a particular app (this component is called app timer).
7. Healthier and more
At Google, they call digital well-being the ability to always keep our dependence on the electronic devices we use every day under control. The feature we have analyzed in the previous section is framed in this context, but it is not the only thing that Android 9 Pie contemplates. Although it may seem like a minor feature, this version of the operating system provides two additional modes of operation designed to facilitate our “digital disconnection” when it is needed. For example, when we went to bed. And this is also important.
The wind-down function gradually darkens the screen and allows colors to give way to a more balsamic grayscale, while the do not disturb mode disables notifications. Modes that were present in previous versions of Android, such as airplane mode, are still part of this review.
If you have a Google Pixel and are impatient, this is how you can update now
Google’s own smartphones began to receive the OTA (Over The Air) update to Android 9 Pie yesterday, but the Mountain View company has confirmed that the deployment will take place in stages. This means that even having a Google Pixel does not guarantee that we will receive the final version of this operating system right away.
Fortunately, users who do not want to wait can perform the update manually by first downloading the OTA file.