Google on Monday announced the final version of Android P is available beginning today—and it has a name, too. Pixel phone owners can download Android 9 Pie and enjoy features such as App Actions, Adaptive Battery, and a feature designed for mindfulness. You can learn more about what Android Pie has to offer in the links below.
The software’s anticipated release comes months after Google unveiled Android Pie at its developer’s conference, introducing several new enhancements and tweaks. One of the biggest is designed to encourage users to spend less time on their phone—the feature sports a Dashboard and an App Time function, allowing users to set limits on apps.
Unfortunately, Google says its Digital Wellbeing feature isn’t launching today; instead, the feature will be available this fall for Pixel devices. If you do want to experience what Digital Wellbeing has to offer, you can try out the features in beta right now, which you’ll have to sign up for.
Meanwhile, the search giant said Slices, which provides contextual information about apps when you need it, won’t be available until later this year either.
“If you start typing ‘Lyft’ into Google Search, you’ll see a ‘slice’ of the Lyft app, showing prices for your ride home and the ETA for a driver so you can take action more quickly and easily,” Google says.
If you own a Pixel device you can download Android Pie right now, with support for other Android devices coming later. Google has a pretty terrible record when it comes to spreading its software to other devices, but that could change this year. When the Android P beta launched earlier this year, it was available on several non-Pixel devices, including the OnePlus 6 and Essential Phone.
Google claims the devices that participated in its beta program will received Android Pie in just a few months, which is an improvement over the typical timeline.
Once Android P is available on a wider basis, we’ll be sure to let you know.
After introducing Android P in March, Google on Tuesday revealed even more features destined for the upcoming update. One of the new features will be gesture-based navigation, similar to what Apple introduced last year with the iPhone X.
A big emphasis for Google this year is on wellbeing. In Android P, Google is overhauling the experience in an attempt to combat the growing issue of smartphone addiction.
“Technology should help you with your life, not distract you from it,” Google said. “So we’ve been working hard to add key capabilities right into Android to help you achieve your desired balance with technology.”
There will be a new Dashboard feature that will give you an overview of how much time you’ve spent on your device, with a complete breakdown of what you’ve been doing. You’ll see how many times you’ve unlocked your device, how many notifications you’ve received, and how much time you’ve spent using a particular app.
Google is also introducing a feature called Wind Down, which will essentially make your phone unappealing to the point where you’ll want to put it down.
“Wind Down will switch on Night Light when it gets dark, and it will turn on Do Not Disturb and fade the screen to grayscale at your chosen bedtime to help you remember to get to sleep at the time you want,” Google said.
Android P will also include an Adaptive Battery feature that will prioritize battery power only for apps and services you use most. So, if you use WhatsApp often, your device will prioritize that app so you can continue to communicate as your battery is dying.
App Actions is another new feature that will use machine-learning to predict your next move. Here’s the example Google uses:
Say you connect your headphones to your device, Android will surface an action to resume your favorite Spotify playlist. Actions show up throughout Android in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.
Building on App Actions, Android P will feature Slices, “giving you an even deeper look into your favorite apps.” In the Google Search app, if you search for Lyft, you’ll see an interactive Slice that provides interactive shortcuts, like a trip to your home or work.
I’m not entirely sure why you’d perform a Google search for Lyft when your endgame was to request a Lyft ride, but I digress.
Google is releasing a beta of Android P today, with support for devices like the Pixel, Essential Phone, and Xperia XZ2.
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