The newest version of Android is here! Named Pie, it introduces some cool new tricks that will change the way you use Android. These are welcome additions after the last few versions of Android brought mostly small tweaks.
5 New Features in Android 9
1) New Gesture Navigation: Android has used a standard three-button navigation bar at the bottom of the screen for ages. In Pie, you can drop the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons in favor of a new gesture-based navigation system. Future devices will ship with this enabled, but you’ll still see the old buttons after updating. To try it, head to Settings > System > Gestures > Swipe up on Home button. Your navigation bar will change right away.
2) Adaptive Battery and Brightness: Android has plenty of automated features, and a few important ones are getting a lot smarter in Pie. Adaptive Battery is an expansion of the Doze feature introduced in Android 6 Marshmallow. Doze put apps that you weren’t using into a “deep sleep” to prevent them from wasting battery. Now, Adaptive Battery goes further by learning about the apps and services you use most often, then adjusting what you don’t use as much to use less battery. This is enabled by default, but you can toggle it at Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery. Note that apps you don’t use often may have delayed notifications due to this.
3) App Action: Google’s launcher already predicts the apps you’re most likely to use based on the time of day. Now, App Actions let you quickly start tasks by predicting what you want to do. For example, you might see a shortcut to start Google Maps navigation to work in the morning. At work, you might see an App Action chat with your co-worker on Hangouts. And when you plug in headphones, you’ll see an App Action for your most recent playlist.
4) Slices: Similar to App Actions, Slices let you jump right to certain actions in apps. For instance, Google says that if you search for Lyft on your phone, you’ll see a shortcut to hail a ride to work, complete with price and ETA.
5) Improved Security Features: Many of Android Pie’s security upgrades are under-the-hood and not particularly interesting. But you should know about two of them. The first is that this version of Android “restricts access to a mic, camera, and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle” according to Google. This means that even if you’ve granted permission for an app to access your microphone, it can’t do so unless you’re actively using it.