Google’s newest Android version has finally gotten a name: Pie. This latest Android version marks another milestone for Google as it changed the look and feel of Android for the first time in many years. It’s also packed with promising features, such as powerful gesture navigation, extended battery life, a colourful interface, and a wide collection of movement animations.
And now that Android 9 Pie is finally making its way to Pixel devices, what can we expect? Actually, there’s a lot. But before you grab a brand new Pixel phone, allow us to share with you 9 reasons you’ll want to try Android Pie and some other tips and hacks.
- Its battery usage is optimized.
With the new Android version, you won’t worry much about battery usage. Just let Android 9.0 Pie smartly manage your battery usage. Thanks to the built-in battery settings of Pie, unnecessary and useless apps are shunted into the background. Although you often get late notifications, your device can still benefit as there’ll be a minimal number of apps that consume your battery juice.
Android 9 Pie also has the Battery Saver feature. It can save your battery power when it becomes really low.
- Brightness is automatically set.
One of the smartest features of Google’s Android 9 Pie is Adaptive Brightness. This works by considering the app that you are currently running and the light level it needs for it to work efficiently. Then, it automatically sets the display brightness to save you from constantly adjusting the slider yourself.
- There are features inside apps that can predict and suggest what you like to do next.
Another new feature in Android 9 Pie is the so-called App Actions. They are simply custom shortcuts inside apps that can give suggestions or predict the activities that you want to do next. These suggestions are based on your context, as explained by Google.
For instance, you can expect to see links to maps once your device detects that it’s time to leave for work. You can also see a shortcut to YouTube or Spotify whenever you connect a pair of headphones.
- Related app shortcuts will appear in the results when you search for something on your device.
There is another upcoming feature in Android 9 Pie that is similar to App Actions. It’s called Slices. Although it is not yet available in the latest Android OS, Google said the feature will be launched later this fall.
Slices is a feature that shows relevant or related apps when you try to search for something. For example, if you search for “Lyft”, you will see links to requesting a ride to work or home.
- Taking screenshots is faster than ever.
Long gone are the days when you had to press the Volume Down and Power buttons altogether to take screenshots of your display. While this button combination still works on Android 9 Pie devices, you can take screenshots faster now. You just have to long-press the Power button and tap the Screenshot option.
With this new feature, you can take screenshots with one hand. You can even make edits and add annotations by tapping Edit on your notifications bar.
- You can navigate easily.
Android 9 Pie features an iPhone X-inspired navigation system. Google already ditched the Overview square button and added swipe controls.
If you want to see your recently used apps, you can just swipe up on your Home screen. To access the app drawer, you just have to swipe up again. Depending on your device’s model, you can edit these navigations by going to Settings -> System -> Gestures.
- Rotate your screen in an instant.
The previous Android software versions have rotation lock controls that allow you to lock and unlock your screen and keep it from rotating unintentionally. These controls are still present in Android 9.0 Pie, but the OS comes with a quick option for conveniently switching between landscape and portrait when you have to.
If you decide to change your screen’s orientation but the screen is locked, you can just press the tiny Rotate button on your screen, where the Overview button used to be.
- Adjust the media volume quickly.
Sometimes, music, video, and social media apps have a tendency to project sounds loudly when you don’t really want them to. However, with Android 9 Pie, silencing them is a lot easier.
To mute or silence the media, simply tap the Volume Down button once and press the musical note symbol. If you wish to adjust the volume of your call, alarm, or media playback settings, just press the cog icon on your screen.
- Mute repetitive alerts and notifications with ease.
This new Android version will know if you are dismissing a plethora of notifications and alerts from one app. It will automatically ask you if you wish to mute the notifications or just let them show up randomly.
Don’t worry because if you want to bring back a certain app that you have muted, you can go to Settings -> App & Notifications -> Notifications. Here, you should see how many times an app has sent notifications. You can also disable or enable pop-ups if needed.
Handy Android 9 Pie Hacks
So, do you really think that’s all that Android 9 Pie has to boast? Think again. There are still a lot of things you should know about this new Android OS. We’ve listed a few handy hacks you can try on your Android 9 Pie device below:
- Make your device less distracting. Sure, you’ve already tried the Do Not Disturb mode on the previous Android versions, but this feature is getting an upgrade in Android Pie. Not only will it silence incoming notifications, it can also hide pop-up notifications. When enabled, your device will not light up, not even display anything in the status bar. To enable and configure the new Do Not Disturb mode, go to Settings -> Sound -> Do Not Disturb.
- Set limits on your device’s screen time. The Digital Wellbeing suite of tools of Google is yet to be launched. Among the tools included is Slices, which we already explained above. Interestingly, with this Digital Wellbeing suite, you can do a lot for the sake of your wellbeing. For example, you can identify which apps you use the most and which ones you are spending most of your time on. From there, you can set limits on your usage. Of course, you can enable or disable these limits if you want to. Since this feature is still coming soon, as of now, we’ll just have to wait for updates.
- Set your bedtime schedule. Another interesting feature included in the Digital Wellbeing suite is Wind Down. You can use this to easily go to sleep and keep yourself from staying up late all night. You just have to set your bedtime first. As the time nears, your device will automatically gray out the screen and enable the blue light filter. It also enables the Do Not Disturb When you wake up in the morning, all your default settings will be restored.
- Protect your privacy. Google has revamped the way Google handles background apps, designing Android 9 Pie to better protect the privacy of users. Android 9 Pie devices will now ask permission to use the microphone, location, and camera. Network status will not be accessible as well if it is in idle state. These improvements to privacy will make it difficult for hackers and rogue apps to retrieve information and spy on users without their knowing.
When can you try all these exciting Android 9 Pie features?
If you already have one of the latest Google Pixel devices, you just have to wait for update notifications or manually go to Settings -> System -> Advanced -> System. From there, tap the Check for Update button. If the recent Android version is available on your device, the download should commence. In a few minutes, you should be able to try the features of Android 9 Pie. Unfortunately, other Android users will have to wait for their device manufacturer to release the update.
Some Useful Tips for You
Like you, we are very much excited to try Google’s Android 9 Pie. As soon as you get it, the first thing you have to do is not to try these features. Instead, download and install Outbyte Android Care first. This app will take care of your device’s performance, battery life, and memory. It will also provide more information regarding your app usage. Promise, you’ll need this app if you want to enjoy your Android 9 Pie!