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Android 9 Pie: New features and device rollout

Published by Jordan Stanley on the 8th August 2018

Jordan takes a look at the new features Android Pie will be loaded with, the devices it will be available on and what it means for development and testing.

With the official release of Android 9 earlier this week, we take a look at what new features it will be loaded with, what devices it will be available on and what it means for app development and testing. Android 9, now officially named Android Pie, was made available from the 6th of August on Pixel phones.

Here at Zoonou, we always recommend testing your mobile apps and websites on the latest OS releases alongside legacy versions to ensure the widest compatibility for your users. Native mobile app developers should review system behaviour changes to identify areas where your app may be affected. There may also be new innovative features that you can utilise to improve your user experience.

The following article is a quick tour around what to expect from Android 9 Pie, starting off with what new features it’s bringing to the table.

New Features:

  • Gesture – In the new Android Pie, the familiar lineup of three navigation icons at the bottom of the phone has been replaced by a single pill-shaped icon in the bottom center of the screen. Long-press this digital button and Google Assistant pops up. Swipe up from it and it will bring you to the latest app you were using. From here you can scroll horizontally through all of your open apps. You can also swipe horizontally on the new icon itself to swipe through open apps. Swipe up from the icon again and it will bring you to your app drawer. Tap on it and it will bring you home.
  • AI, But for Battery Life – Google says it collaborated with Alphabet’s DeepMind team in London to build this feature. It’s supposed to prioritise your favorite apps and put more limitations on the phone’s resources for the apps you use less frequently.
  • Slice – Usually when you search for an app on Android, the app icon itself comes up, as well as any other relevant results on the device or on the web. With Android Pie, Google is going to show you information that’s embedded within apps, offering you interactive app functionality from directly within search results.
  • Give Me a Break – Google’s new “digital well-being” software is the only part of the Android Pie OS that will still be in beta for a while longer. This latest software release includes a sign-up flow where people can now enroll in the well-being beta, but again, these features will officially launch in the Autumn.

Other features include:

  • Rotation suggestion
  • Time on the left for screen notches
  • Adaptive Battery and Brightness
  • Smart replies

Full list of compatible devices

Unlike iOS, Android tends to be rolled out to a selection of phones first before a gradual uptake across other devices. Unsurprisingly, Google’s Pixel range is first in line.

First rollout : (6th August)

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Essential Phone

Future release: (dates TBC)

  • Samsung Galaxy S9/Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • OnePlus 5/5T
  • OnePlus 6
  • Essential Phone PH-1
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
  • Nokia 6/8
  • Nokia 7 Plus
  • Sony Xperia XZs
  • LG V30
  • Honor V10
  • Motorola Moto X4
  • Honor 8 (Pro)

If you’d like to find out more about testing on Android 9, please contact us at info@zoonou.com and one of our team will get back to you. If you’d like to get in touch about anything else, please head over to our Contact page.

 

To find out more about testing on a range of devices, please see our Compatibility Testing page and download a full list of our mobile and tablet devices on our Device Lab page. To keep up to date with all things software related, make sure to keep an eye out at https://zoonou.com/latest-news/.

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