Android 9.0 Pie has officially rolled out, but for the time being, it's only available to Google's own Pixel phones and a select few others. Thankfully, you can get a taste of the Android Pie experience on any phone right now.
It's no secret that Google is all about AI. In their eyes, machine learning is the future of software development, and you can see evidence of this all over the last couple Android updates. They've used it to power all sorts of features in their Pixel phones, and they've even donated some of their AI smarts to AOSP for all Android manufacturers to share. But it looks like Samsung isn't exactly on board.
The famous Flappy Bird (technically Flappy Droid) game is still around in Android 9.0 Pie. First introduced in 5.0 Lollipop, the game was originally the version number easter egg for the new Android update. But after Android Marshmallow, Google began to hide it from its usual location, and Pie continues this tradition.
There's a new secret settings menu hiding in Android 9.0 Pie that offers Chrome-style "flags" to the overall operating system. Since it's currently the first Developer Preview and Public Beta versions, it's possible that this menu could disappear entirely when the stable version finally gets released, but it could also persist in its current hidden state where you have to unlock it.
If you ever want to go beyond the basics on your Android phone, unlocking the hidden "Developer options" menu is the first thing you should try out. With it unlocked, you can change the way parts of stock Android looks, enable ADB connectivity with your computer, add visual reactions to taps, and more.
Screen pinning is a fairly unknown feature despite the fact that it's been around since 2014. It's a helpful security tool that limits access to your device to only one app — perfect for those times when someone asks to borrow your phone. While previous versions kept this feature exactly the same, Android 9.0 Pie's new multitasking UI changes the way it works.
If you've upgraded your phone to Android 9.0 Pie, you might notice some intermittent problems with your internet connection. That's because "Turn On Wi-Fi Automatically," while available with Android Oreo on select phones, is now enabled by default on all phones running Android Pie. If your Essential or OnePlus device is acting up, you'll want to check this out.
Samsung has had a rich screenshot editor in TouchWiz for years, and Apple even added a similar feature to iOS 11. Until now, stock Android has lagged behind in this area, but that's finally fixed in Android 9.0 Pie.
Following in iOS 11's footsteps, Android 9.0 Pie will include a security feature that lets you immediately disable the fingerprint scanner as well as extended Smart Lock features. After initiating the feature, you will be required to insert your PIN, pattern, or password before any other unlock methods will work again.
For the first time since its inception, the famously hidden System UI Tuner has to be unlocked in a new way. No longer can you long-press the gear icon (found in Quick Settings) until it spins and reveals the hidden settings option. With Android 9.0 Pie, there's a new workaround to reveal the menu.
Android 9.0 Pie is now available to install on Google's own Pixel devices and a select few other phones. In the new release, there's a fairly hidden setting that lets you enable a system-wide dark theme that changes the look of your Quick Settings panel and other menus.
With every new Android update, hidden features are lurking under the surface. Google hides these options to prevent unnecessary tinkering by average users, leaving them in place for power users to discover. These secrets range from silly to really useful, with the latter opening up new ways to manage your phone.
I don't know about you, but nothing is more annoying than when my phone hits 15% and I'm nowhere near a charger. Not just because I know my phone will die soon, but until I reach a charger, I have to deal with the annoying low battery notification and LED light. Well, with Android 9.0 Pie, we finally can escape this.
Thanks to Android Pie's gesture controls, features like split screen mode now take several additional steps to activate. This change is due to the revamped navigation bar which removed the recents apps button. Luckily, we can still change it back.
Android Pie is bringing in plenty of changes, but the headlining feature is a set of navigation gestures like the iPhone X uses. With Android 9.0, you can now navigate through your phone using a total of seven new swipe gestures.
Google just released Android 9.0 Pie, but the Android community is already working its magic. Developer Quinny899 quickly ported the updated Pixel Launcher from the new build, so you can try it out on other phones right now.
Even though most phones don't have Oreo yet, Google has released Android 9.0 Pie. It's available on Google's own Pixel devices, and updates should soon be available to partnered devices from Essential, Nokia, Oppo, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi. We're already digging into it to highlight all of the features and changes.
While Android 9.0 Pie introduced some significant changes to the core operating system, the feature most people will be talking about is the native gesture controls. By default, these gestures are disabled — but for those of us wanting to try to the future of Android, here's how to enable the new controls.
In stock Android Oreo and below, the volume rockers change ringer volume by default unless audio is currently playing. In order to adjust media volume when media isn't playing, you have to tap the down arrow next to the ringer volume slider that appears at the top of the screen to see the option. Now, Android 9.0 Pie has flipped things around, giving media volume the limelight.
With all Android updates, there's a considerable wait before most phones get the new version, and Android Pie is no different. Until then, most of us are stuck just looking at videos of the newest update. Well thanks to developer Trey Dev, we can enjoy the new notification shade and Quick Settings menu while we wait.