Android 9 Pie is one the most complete and consistent versions of Android so far. It delivers many promise of Android had done in the past. It has entirely new navigation system and app overview. It handles notifications in a much better way. The resource management has improved which means faster and better app performance and ability to multi-task. The AI is more enabled now.
Google has come up with three main themes for Pie: Intelligence, Simplicity and Digital Wellness. The third theme may not be available before fall 2019. The intelligence in Android Pie is related to AI based automation that learns from user habits from battery usage to brightness settings. Simplicity is what you see and how you use it. Google’s Pixel 2 has already got the update and this review refer to experience on Pixel 2 only. For rest of the devices, the experience could be slightly different as the underlying changes are hardware and vendor specific to some degree.
Android 9 Pie has introduced a whole new navigation system which can be toggled on and off. Just go to Display under the settings menu, go to Gestures and then swipe up on home button. Want to go to home page? Simply tap. Long press for Google Assistant. To check on the recent app swipe right. Swipe up to show recent apps menu. Google’s Pixel 3 is going to use this navigation system by default and available to any vendor who want to use it for their devices.
Icons for WiFi, cellular network and battery are at the right side of the status bar. Swipe the notifications down. The battery icon would change shape to show up the remaining battery percentage. The WiFi and cellular icons would move into the right hand side of the mini view and the date appear to the left under the time. This all feels so much work. Why move the cellular network icon? Thankfully the time never moves and show consistency. You don’t have to look for the location for date, after you update to Pie. There would be a much awaited dark theme for the OS. In Pie, volume is next to volume button. By default, the volume button now adjust media volume rather than ringer volume.