Operating systems have the tendency to get everyone excited, be it Windows, Mac, iOS or Android. It makes sense, as it is the compilation of years of technological prowess in the form of a code that puts an immense amount of power at your fingertips. We have come a long way from the first cumbersome user interfaces (UIs) for touch-based interfaces and it shows.
Software plays a major role in the user experience. How fast or smooth it is, how quickly it gets things done, how far is its reach, does it fulfill your media consumption or gaming needs, does it look good—everything matters.
At the forefront of Google’s mobile software is the ninth rendition of Android, also called Android Pie. While the previous generations of Android focused on making everything fast, this is probably the first time Google made a major emphasis on security and wellbeing features.
However, Android has a bad reputation for one thing—timely updates for the entire spectrum of Android supporting devices, which is somewhat changing now.
Android Pie was publicly released in August, and the fact that at least 6 major smartphone manufacturers already have smartphones running the platform is a lightyear jump.
Here are some smartphones that
Samsung Galaxy S9+, Note 9
Samsung is known to be extremely slow with its software updates, but lately, it’s been pretty swift with keeping the ball rolling. To give you some perspective, my 2016 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus received the Oreo update two whole years after it was launched. But the fact that the latest flagships from Samsung, namely Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and S9+ will soon be receiving Android Pie updates.
The major thing to be excited about this upgrade to Pie is the complete revamp of UI—Samsung unveiled the One UI at its developers’ conference and it seems to be a more rounded out (literally) and cleaned up interface from the Korean smartphone maker. Previous UI experience of Samsung was marred by double vision since there were always two apps for carrying out core processes like calculator, calendar and so on.
Moto G6, G6 Play
Motorola’s attempt at making the Moto G more contemporary with an understated glass back was a success, but the internals with Snapdragon 450 SoC were questionable. The user experience of the smartphone was great nevertheless, and Motorola is clearly starting to build upon it. The Moto G6, the G6 Play and even the X4 will soon receive a Pie update.
OnePlus 3T, 5
The OnePlus 6 was one of the first smartphones other than Google Pixel and Essential Phone to receive the Android Pie update. But several OnePlus customers using the previous generations of the OnePlus expressed their concern about upgrading to Android Pie.
OnePlus made it official on their forums that the company was working on an upgrade and that OnePlus 5 and 3T would soon receive an OTA notification for Android Pie.
Nokia 3.1 et al
The Nokia 8, launched in 2017, recently received an upgrade to Android Pie. It is the step in the right direction from HMD Global, the company responsible for the redemption of the Nokia brand. The company based out of Espoo, Finland tied up with Google to launch several Android One handsets, which guarantees regular security and firmware upgrades. As a result, most of the smartphones from Nokia in 2018 were also based on Android One, and so Nokia 3.1 Plus, Nokia 5.1 Plus, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 7.1 will all receive Android Pie upgrades. In fact, the Nokia 8.1 ships with Android One based on Pie out of the box.
Realme 1 et al
Oppo’s ex sub-brand Realme has also promised Android Pie updates. The Realme 1, Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro, Realme C1 and Realme U1 will all receive the latest version of Android Pie. The real question here remains whether Realme will address UI issues of Oppo’s ColorOS that it uses. The custom ROM has several jagged edges that stick out like a sore thumb, be it aesthetic issues or genuine bugs and crashes.