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Android 9 Pie: What’s new?
Google has officially released the latest version of the popular operating system for mobile devices – Android 9 Pie. What new interesting things has the full ninth version of the famous OS for Android users?
Google is convinced that your phone must be really Yours. Therefore, it’s the smartphone that needs to adapt to your life, and not vice versa. You don’t notice the difference at first – yes, there is new gesture system; the interface and font have changed. This is the first vivid impression of Android system updating. Artificial intelligence learns, adapts to the user’s habits. It takes time.
Android 9 Pie has several features based on this technology. App Drawer has a new feature called App Actions. It offers actions based on your typical smartphone habits. For example, if you call your mom every day at the same time, a direct call button will appear in App Drawer. And if you use headphones, then App Actions can offer quick access to the list of music you listened to before, saving you a few taps.
In addition, now the smartphone is “learning” to understand how brightly the user prefers to customize the screen, and automatically adjusts this option to his or her habits; and the new Slices feature will help to display on the smartphone screen the most relevant information from popular apps. For example, if a user is looking for an Uber taxi, a fragment with trip home prices or the driver’s time arrival will appear in the Google search bar.
Updated look in the Material Design 2 style
The new unified design consistent with the concept of frameless smartphones. Obviously rounding edges in iOS 10-11 served as the inspiration for Android 9 Pie developers. Its look doesn’t repel those who for the first time changed iOS for Android, which plays into the hands of smartphone producers.
The second global striking design innovation is the background color. It’s white now. This change highlights the pictograms of buttons, shortcuts and notifications. The design became more expressive and bright, in comparison with the previous one.
Accessibility of choice is an important quality for users. Everyone wants individuality in their smartphone design. The developers provided such an opportunity: now everyone can choose their own style, color, gamut and brightness.
More powerful screen lock
The locked screen in Android 9 shows not only time. Now it will show things like weather forecasts and upcoming calendar events you have noted. You won’t have to unlock your smartphone to see reminding notifications. Just one look at the locked screen will be enough. It’s convenient and time-saving. Good work, developers!
New navigation tools
The traditional navigation buttons (return, home, list of running applications) are now replaced by a small icon at the bottom of the screen. Make a small swipe up from this button to see your recent apps. A full swipe up will open a list of all apps. The movement to the right of it returns you quickly to the app used before. The return button still remains, but it is visible only when you are in another application. Touch the button to return to the main screen or hold it down to open the Google Assistant.
Android 9 Pie also introduces new gestures, including holding down the Power and Volume Up buttons to prevent a call, and the ability to turn the ringer off by simply turning the phone over. If you need certain options to facilitate the use of the phone, Android 9 Pie adds the ability to support the “Accessibility Menu” at the bottom of the screen.
Concern for the user’s health
Under the motto “Digital Wellbeing” the company introduces functions that will help limit the time spent in front of the device’s screen.
One of these functions is the Android Dashboard, which allows you tracking the amount of time you spend on your device. For example, a user can allow him or herself 30 minutes of Instagram per day. Shortly before the time runs out you see a warning on the screen, and when the set limit is exceeded Instagram stops working. The app no longer opens and appears in the menu in gray.
If you need to continue using Instagram, you can re-enable it through the dashboard but a pop-up warning will appear. Smartphone usage statistics are also displayed on the information panel. There you will find out how many minutes per day you spend on your smartphone, how often you unlock the device and how many notifications you receive.
Another new mode is Wind Down mode. You can tell the Google Assistant the time you need to go to bed and it will automatically put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode and switch the screen to monochrome mode at a set time.
One of the biggest but not advertised additions to Android 9 Pie is Lockdown mode. To enable the lock, press the power button and select the Lockdown option from the list. This will block your phone by removing notifications and personal information from the screen. No biometric information will unlock your phone. You need to enter a PIN or a password to do this.
Google maps improvement
Before upgrading the system Google Maps only worked well when moving around the streets. But using it in large buildings such as shopping malls was often useless. A new feature in Android 9 Pie includes the added support for Wi-Fi Round Trip Time or RTT. This technology allows to get more accurate positioning via Wi-Fi. Accidental screen rotation prevention The screen rotation prevention system in previous versions annoyed with its unwieldiness. Now the function acts intuitively. The user once selects the preferred orientation and fixes it.
Multi camera support
Multi cameras support ability existed before. For example, the well-known for Nokia owners Dual-Sight function. It allows you to use both cameras on your phone for taking pictures or shooting videos. Android 9 Pie developers created a similar feature.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they will automatically take advantage of the Nokia producers’ achievement. But the possibilities for creating multiple cameras support systems have appeared more.
Communication with a smartphone in various messengers has become much more emotional – the developers have updated the emoji kit and expanded it. Apps download was renamed to “Files” It seems like a simple rename but it will correspond to further extensions in this direction – especially considering Google Files Go app.
HEIF graphic format is supported which takes up half as much space as JPEG. Thus, saving captured photos will conserve space on the drive significantly. Encoding by video codec HDR VP9 was declared, which also works in a similar way.
Existing features improving
1. Volume control
The volume slider has been moved to the right side of the screen and now it consists of two parts. The upper one controls the ringer, melodies, messages and media volume; and the lower one switches the ringtone, vibration or without sound mode.
2. Improved notifications
Now when you receive a notification, you can immediately respond in the window of the notification bar without calling the program itself. There you can see the latest messages and even photos and videos to them. It is very convenient if you need to respond instantly. This improvement wasn’t without AI capabilities. The Android system offers a quick response based on the last message meaning. Each time studying correspondence and directly your choice the system self-learns and answers more precisely. Moreover, the algorithm notices frequently deleted messages and does this automatically, hiding unnecessary ones. It can be very convenient especially in case of delivering annoying advertising spam.
3. Do Not Disturb mode improvement
It’s easier now to use Do Not Disturb mode. Touch it once and you won’t see, hear or feel the notifications (except for the alarm clock). You can configure this mode at your discretion and, as before, plan the time you want to turn it on automatically also using events from your calendar.
Moreover, users now have the opportunity to activate the Do Not Disturb mode quickly by turning the Android device over. However, you can set contacts that will receive permission to violate the silence mode.
4. Improved Bluetooth
It was already possible to connect up to two stereo speakers in the previous system. The developers went further:
- five speakers connection;
- device memory about previous connections – saving sound level settings in each speaker;
- transferring sound to one speaker in case of an incoming call;
- it doesn’t take much time to answer a sudden incoming cal.
5. Battery life improvement
It has been created an adaptive shutdown of running apps in a new Android version.
Artificial intelligence remembers the user’s algorithm. For example, you often watch YouTube videos from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The AI starts the application in the background at that time and disconnects it at other hours.
6. Android Runtime (ART) improvement
One of the main and significant Android 9 Pie innovations is a dramatic improvement in the Android Runtime. In particular, interaction with the Kotlin language has been optimized. This increased the OS performance. Devices upgraded to Android 9 are now faster than older versioned ones by 12 or more percent.
ART accelerated the apps’ launch time too. The system writes executable files directly to the device. In addition to accelerating launching this approach has reduced the amount of memory consumed.
7. Better security
A function called encryption on the client side has appeared. Encryption, like decryption, is now impossible on a smartphone without authentication. And it itself became not easy – its own templates appeared – password entry and PIN. But it doesn’t necessary for owners to remember a template, since the system saves information in the Cloud and enters it by autofilling.
Another opportunity was added: obtaining a separate MAC address for each network to which the device owner gets access. This address will be saved for this network even if the user logs out.
An additional security enhancement is the prohibition of camera and microphone access for applications running in the background. This is one of the most fundamental innovations. Even if attackers attempt to gain this access, the device will give an error.
The ninth version has a lot of innovations. The developers, except for the above, added some good new items:
a) There is a line in the quick settings panel of a notification bar that displays active or future events as well as their execution time. You can go to settings and quickly change tasks if necessary;
b) It has become easier to take screenshots since there is the corresponding button when you press the power off. Moreover, ready-made screenshots can be edited immediately in the Markup app;
c) When unlocking by entering the graphic key, the previous strip disappears. This will not allow a random person to spy on your password;
d) Settings icon in picture-in-picture mode was added. It’s convenient to go to the application settings immediately if necessary;
e) When selecting a text, the context menu has acquired additional functions;
f) And much more.
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