Google’s upcoming update for smartphones and tablets will be called Android Pie or Android 9.0 and has started rolling out for first generation Pixel, Pixel XL and last year’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL smartphones right away.

Devices such as OnePlus 6, Nokia 7 Plus, Sony Xperia XZ2 and Vivo X21 which were part of the Android P beta program will get the new update by the end of November.

Expect for the slight adjustment to accommodate the iPhone X like cut out at the top, the fundamental design still remains the same. However, there are several under the hood changes powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make the Android operating system smarter at several levels.

Smarter assistant

Android Pie will keep track of user preferences and habits on its own, so it can prioritise resources and when required can adjust the phone’s settings accordingly. For instance, the OS will remember the apps where user is spending more time and when, so it can automatically restrict apps, running in the background, from using resources in the during hours when the users don’t use them. This will save battery. Similarly, the OS will remember the brightness preferences of users in different lighting conditions and adjust it accordingly when it detect a change in lighting.

Suggestions as per users’ needs

Then there is App Actions, which uses AI to predict what users will do next and open apps and actions which it thinks users would like to see. So if users connect an earphone with the device, Android Pie will show the option to go to the last playlist they were listening to.

Navigation made easy

Google has removed the overview button with swipe up gesture from the edge of the screen. This will open a full-screen preview of recently used apps running in background, instead of the card stack view which showed only a portion of the app interface. Users will also be able to carry out actions such as smart text selection (can tell the meaning of text selected by user to provide suggestions) on an app from the overview.

Designed for users’ well beings

To help users overcome their smartphone addiction, Android P will allow users to review their usage pattern through a page called Dashboard. Here users can see how they have been interacting with their smartphone. It is similar to the Screen Time page on Apple iPhones, which was released with iOS 12 recently. Dashboard allows users to set timers for apps where they have been spending too much time.

Improved security

With Android Pie users will have access to new security tool called Android Protected Confirmation. It adds an additional layer of security over sensitive transaction by prompting users punch in a cryptographic signature every time they want to make a payment in a banking app. Backup data will now be encrypted and can be restored only with the appropriate security credentials.

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