Google has started rolling out their much hyped Android P, which we now know is a major OS update called “Android 9 Pie”.
While much of the content of the update had been discussed, the last developer preview only came out 12 days ago and did not feature some of the big ticket items such as the “Digital Wellbeing” and “Slices”.
Pixel owners will be able to download the update today, with roll out for other devices expected toward the end of the year.
Pie includes a major UI update to bring devices in line with Google’s updated Material Design guidelines. These changes will impact the notification panel, recent apps screen as well as user experience features like a new auto-brightness algorithm, an AI-powered adaptive battery and changes to how the CPU works in the background.
Taking cues from Apple, Pie supports notched displays and a gesture navigation system.
In conjunction with Pie, Google is also releasing the beta for Digital Wellbeing, the new anti-smartphone addiction app.
Digital Wellbeing will try to develop more healthy relationships with our devices by enabling tracking of how much you use certain apps, allowing users to set limits on how much they want to be able to use specific apps per day.
Further to simple usage limitations, Digital Wellbeing will also include a “Wind down” feature which desaturates the display in order to dissuade late night phone usage.
Moving away for health and into additions that improve the day to day usage of your phone, the new “Slices” feature will be able to deliver in-app content in other apps – Google gave Lyft prices in your Maps directions results as an example.