Google has finally announced that the final version of Android P will be called Pie. Yes, it is not the most pleasing or inspiring dessert name that starts with the alphabet P but Google has finalized it.
Honestly, I was hoping that Google CEO Sundar Pichai will side with India and name the next version of its mobile operating system as Android 9 Peda or Android 9 Payasam. Now, we have no other option but to wait an entire year for an Indian dessert to make its way to Android name. Alongside the new name, Google has also announced that the new version will start shipping to all Pixel phones starting today. At the time of publishing, we could not see Android 9 Pie update on our Pixel 2 XL, which is already running Android P Beta 4.
Android 9 Pie or Android P is Google’s attempt to modernize its mobile operating system. It is the version that will lead Android to an era where smartphones with taller display and edge-to-edge display design is becoming a commonplace. The newest version of Android brings a redesigned gesture interface that gets rid of the onscreen navigation buttons that have been central way of navigation.
However, the headline feature of Android 9 Pie is not its gesture support but rather a new feature called Digital Wellbeing. With Digital Wellbeing, Google wants Android users to take better control of their screen time and will come with controls that will let you limit your screen time across applications and wind down at time. Sadly, Google says Digital Wellbeing won’t be available as part of today’s release and will be rolled later during this fall. It will also be available to select beta users with Android 9 Pie and Pixel smartphone.
Another major feature showcased at I/O 2018 and not making to the final version is called Slices. It is basically slice of an app that will surface within Google search. Google says ‘slices’ will also be available in the fall. Google is essentially saying that core new features of Android 9 Pie won’t be available until the launch of Pixel 3 smartphones.
Ahead of the official launch, Google ran a significantly wider beta program with the mobile OS becoming available not only for Pixel devices but also for smartphones from brands like OnePlus, HMD Global, Vivo, Essential, Oppo and Sony Mobile. Essential has already released Android 9 Pie for its flagship smartphone and it will be interesting to see when others release the update.