The new software has features aimed at improving battery life and fighting tech addiction.
The next generation of Android is on its way. And you guessed it — the P is for Pie. Android Pie, the new version of Google’s mobile operating system, previously called Android P, comes first to the search giant’s Pixel smartphones starting Monday. Google initially of the software in March, then demoed some features at its annual I/O developer conference in May.
People who signed up for the Android Beta program, which lets you try out pre-release versions of the software, will receive the update by the “end of this fall,” if they have devices from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential. Google said it’s also working with other partners to launch or upgrade devices with Android Pie “this year,” though the company didn’t provide additional detail on exactly when those updates would come.
Google typically names its new flavours of Android alphabetically and after something sugary. For example, the previous Android version was called Oreo. Before that was Nougat, preceded by Marshmallow and Lollipop. Officially, Google is calling it Android 9 Pie, or just Android 9.
Android is the dominant mobile operating system on the planet, powering almost 9 out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally. So updates in the software could eventually signal changes for how most of the world uses its phones.
Android Pie mostly focuses on behind-the-scenes improvements designed to make Android phones work faster while saving precious battery life.
That includes AI tools that work quietly in the background to suggestion apps and shortcuts you might want to use next to loading “slices” of an online page that gives you the precise information you want to know, without going to the trouble to download an app or scour a website for opening hours, reservation assistance and so on.