Google recently launched its Android 9 operating system, following a brief beta testing period.
The newest version of Android – also called Android Pie – includes an array of new features aimed at enhancing the smartphone experience.
Android 9 supports built-in AI features which automatically prioritise battery power for apps based on usage patterns, along with other predictive actions such as adaptive brightness and app actions.
Android 9 will roll out to Google’s Pixel devices first, but there are a number of smartphones set to receive the update in the near future – thanks to their cooperation with Google and its Android One programme.
One of the biggest changes brought with the latest version of Android is a new navigation system, along with a single home button.
Other useful additions include gesture-based controls for handsets without home buttons, and digital wellness tools which allow users to control how much time they spend on their smartphones.
A new Slices feature brings relevant information to the search results for your favourite apps, allowing you to access relevant data without opening the app.
Android 9 also supports notched displays and tall aspect ratios, ensuring it will remain compatible with new smartphone design trends.
On the security side, Android 9 supports encryption of Android backups with a standardised biometric authentication prompt.
The new operating system also restricts app access to your hardware when apps are running in the background. If an app is using a certain sensor, it will be displayed as a notification on your device.
Now that Android 9 has officially launched, Google Pixel and Essential PH-1 users can download the update.
“Devices that participated in the Beta programme from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Essential, as well as all qualifying Android One devices, will receive this update by the end of this fall,” said Google.
The rollout schedule for each confirmed device is outlined below.
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 2 XL
- Essential PH-1
Launching Soon (Beta available)
- Oppo R15 Pro
- OnePlus 6
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Vivo X21
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Nokia 7 Plus
- HTC U11
- HTC U11 Life
- Moto G6
- Moto G6 Plus
- Moto G6 Play
- Nokia 1
- Nokia 2
- Nokia 3
- Nokia 5
- Nokia 6
- Nokia 6 (2nd Gen)
- Nokia 7
- Nokia 8
- Nokia 8 Sirocco
The smartphones listed above include devices which have Android 9, were part of the Beta programme, Android One devices, or have been confirmed by their manufacturer to receive the update in the future.
The timeline for the rollout of Android 9 to smartphones may also be affected on a country or network basis, which is a potential issue for South Africans.
Other major companies such as Huawei and Samsung are also set to adopt the new operating system after customising it for their devices – but neither have confirmed a rollout window.