With its eyes already set on Android Q, the new version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 9 Pie, already meets six months since it officially arrived to the first devices in the second week of August, and for the first time we do not know what percentage of devices have updated to this new version. Google has not updated distribution data since October.
While some devices are still waiting for their update to Android 9 Pie, this version of the operating system has already passed its half-life, with which we can now offer you a more in-depth analysis of Android Pie.
A new gesture-based interface
Android 9 Pie followed in the footsteps of iOS 11 and to welcome “all-screen” mobiles Google also chose to add a gesture-based interface. This interface must be activated on mobiles that update from Android 8 Oreo, but new mobiles that come standard with the new version of Android, such as the Pixel 3, will be the default interface.
This is one of the most important changes that Android has undergone in its ten years of life. The change it makes is to eliminate the “Recents” button from the navigation bar, replacing it with the gesture of swipe up on the home button.
This new gesture navigation makes it faster switch between open applications. Just by sliding the start button to the sides of the screen we scroll the list of recent applications, and when we stop touching, the selected application will open.
This new gesture navigation also allows you open the app drawer from any app, without having to return to the home screen. While a short flick up you see recent apps, with a long gesture up you open the application drawer directly.
But not everything are advantages, at least with the Pixel Launcher. Count getting used to this new gesture navigation when you’re on the home screen. When you swipe up you expect the application drawer to open but what it does is show the open applications, with which you have to get used to doing the long gesture to open the application drawer.
Now it is not so fast to activate the split screen in Android 9 Pie. Before we could activate the split screen with a long press on the “Recent” button. Now that there is no such button, you have to slide up to see all the open applications, touch the icon of your application and then click “split screen”. How many before was a single step, now there are three.
He anticipates your actions
Google has given you yet more intelligence to your operating system with this new version. And there are two novelties that become essential as the days go by, as the device learns from your habits.
With Android 9 Pie practically you can forget about having to manually adjust the brightness again. With its new role auto brightness the operating system remembers your brightness preferences depending on the time of day and the use you are doing at that time. If in the morning you like to have the brightness to the maximum and at night to the minimum it will learn it and it will automatically adjust the brightness to leave it as you like it. In a few days you already know your preferences.
Also learn the actions that you usually do throughout the day with the new Action Apps from the app drawer. Now in addition to predicting the applications you use the most in each minute as well Predict the two actions you do the mostsuch as sending a message to a contact, listening to a music album, or launching the browser to go home. You connect the headphones and you see the action to listen to your favorite music. Android Pie knows your routines.
Machine learning has also already reached its new smart battery manager, which automatically limits the consumption of applications that we do not use frequently. If it detects that there are applications that we do not use for a long time, it stops them completely to give a little more extra life to our battery.
Android 9 Pie has taken very seriously the mobile addiction suffered by many users with the new section of Digital well-being. In addition to knowing the number of notifications we receive in a day, the times we look at the mobile screen or the hours we spend using each of its applications, it has two interesting tools: Rest Mode and timers.
My favorite tool is the Rest mode, since it tries to prevent you from going to bed late due to losing track of time due to the mobile phone. You can tell him the time you should already be in bed for him to put on the black and white screen. This warns you in a very subtle way that it is time to sleep, and it will prevent you from staying up late, since with a black and white screen it becomes more boring to use your mobile.
The other tool is perfect for small children’s tablets, or for those who have a very serious addiction to an application. It’s about the new timers. You can limit the use of a certain application so that once that time has passed you cannot continue using it.
Your new volume control …
One of the details to which I have not finished getting used to it yet it’s your new volume control. For 10 years the volume of the ringer has been controlled with the buttons, and now what it does is control the multimedia volume. Now to control the volume of the ringer you have to go to the sound settings, but fortunately the mobile can be silenced by pressing Power + Volume Up. Of course, it is appreciated that now it remembers the volume for each Bluetooth speaker / headset.
Messaging notifications in more detail
Another aspect that I love about Android 9 Pie is the new messaging notifications, now they show part of the conversation, showing the latest messages and shared images. If I send you a photo you no longer have to open the application, now from the notification you see the image.
What yes I miss are the direct answers from the notification. None of the messaging applications that I use (WhatsApp, Hangouts and Google Messages), at least with the device configured in Spanish. It is a novelty that I have not seen yet in six months.
The same goes for Slices, those pieces of information that applications can integrate into the Google search engine to show their actions among their results. Not even Google has implemented it to date in its applications.
The opinion of Xataka Android
Android 9 Pie is a great update but for my taste somewhat decaffeinated. The most important jump from Android 8 Oreo to Android 9 Pie is found in its interface changes, such as gesture navigation, your new volume control or new messaging notifications, along with your battery and smart brightness.
I can not find those news or novelty that make you no longer want to return to Android 8 Oreo, and above one of its main novelties, the Digital Wellbeing is currently exclusive to the Pixel and Android One, so the AOSP version of Android Pie is left with less news.
Android 9 Pie leaves me the minor update flavor At the feature level, since they have practically focused on the interface and add a little more Artificial Intelligence. Instead, with Android Q It seems that Google will be able to grill meat, since important news such as the black theme, its new permission manager, ‘Face ID’ or outdated applications, among other novelties, have been leaked.