Android Pie is official, available now for Pixels and Essential Phone

3 min read

We have been impatiently waiting since Google I/O for the official word of Android 9. Many of us have even been running the beta software to get an early look at the sweet, un-named software, but as of yesterday we finally have a name and official update to Android P: say hello to Android Pie. This comes very quickly behind the last dev build 5 from 2 weeks ago, but plays nicely with the last few years of Android version releases being unveiled in early August.

Google has instilled many core changes into¬†Android Pie. The most notable is the Intuitive UI that brings the new swipe gestures that replace the traditional triangle, circle, and square menu buttons we’ve had for over half a decade. While this may seem drastic to some and will be disabled by default for those upgrading directly from Oreo, it doesn’t take long to get used to swiping through the UI.Some of the other changes are under the hood with Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness coming to the forefront to help save precious battery life. Artificial intelligence continues to be a strong presence as Android grows with App Actions. This new feature tries to guess what apps, or actions within apps, that you want to use without having to open the open directly. This presents itself as icons from your favorite apps in the launcher and the app it thinks you are looking will be shown below the Search bar in the new multitasking overview.Despite this being the official Android 9 update, Google thought that a few things mentioned at Google I/O simply wasn’t ready for primetime just yet. Digital Wellbeing was another software suite that was to consist of Android Dashboard, App Timer, Wind Down, and a refresh of Do Not Disturb. This new initiative will be a venue for users to better manage their screen time and even set automated instances where you are limited from interactions with your smartphone. Google didn’t elaborate on the reasoning behind these absent additions, but one has to think that Digital Wellbeing is sitting out from Android Pie to be a selling point of the new Google Pixels just around the corner. However, Google has announced a testing pilot for those that want a sneak peak of Digital Wellbeing.

If you aren’t running the recent Beta builds on your Pixel, then don’t worry. The official OTA update is rolling out to users now for Android Pie. Even users that are more on the inpatient side, and aren’t getting the OTA notification, can easily hit the Google links below to find the appropriate system images and manual update packages.

Oh, and side note. If you are a loyal Essential user then the company has stuck to being the champion of updates from any company not named Google. Android Pie is also now available for that great phone as well.

Google Android Pie Announcement Android System Images Android OTA Downloads