Android Pie: Everything you need to know about Android 9

Android Pie logo
Android Pie logo (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Every year sees the release of a new Android version, and in 2018, we got Android 9 Pie.

Android Pie was a notable update for a few different reasons. Not only did it introduce things like gesture-based navigation and an upgraded UI, but it was also the last Android version to come with a tasty dessert name.

We may not talk about Android Pie a lot these days, but that doesn't take away from its importance at all. Here's everything you need to know about the software here in 2020!

What kind of reviews did Android Pie get?

Android Pie wasn't the most revolutionary update we've ever seen in the Android space, but all of the smaller changes and tweaks it introduced added up for a (mostly) great user experience.

Pie was the first version of Android in which Google tried its hand at gesture-based navigation, resulting in the two-button system that was quickly replaced a year later with Android 10. It also added things like Adaptive Battery, revamped notifications, an API for managing multiple camera lenses, and more.

A lot of Pie's features and fixes were smaller in scale, but that wasn't a bad thing by any means. Pie strived to refine Android and simplify it, making it a piece of software that's still perfectly enjoyable to use nearly two years after its release.

Android 9 Pie review: Greater than the sum of its slices

Is Android Pie available for my phone yet?

Android Pie statue at the Googleplex

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

At this point in Android Pie's life cycle, your phone is more than likely already running the software or has since been updated to Android 10.

Similarly, if your phone has yet to be upgraded from Android 8.0 Oreo or an earlier version, you shouldn't hold your breath for a Pie update. Manufacturers have since moved past Pie and onto newer software builds, meaning the ship has pretty much sailed at this point.

Will my phone get Android 9 Pie in 2020?

What was the deal with Android Pie's gestures?

Android 9 gestures

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Back in 2011 with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google introduced Android's iconic three-button navigation system we've come to know and love – Back, Home, and Recents. With Android Pie, they were eliminated in favor of a gesture-based system.

Android Pie was the first time Google heavily relied on gestures for navigating the UI, and if you had a phone with Pie (or if it's still running Pie), they worked as follows:

  • Tap the Home button/pill to go home
  • Swipe up to access the recent apps page
  • Swipe up twice or do a long swipe for the app drawer
  • The Back button only appears in certain apps/menus when it's needed

This combination of taps and swipes proved to be rather confusing, and while it was fairly easy to get used to how everything worked, we're thrilled Google decided to go with 100% gestures in Android 10.

What were some of Android Pie's best features?

Android Pie's settings page

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

As noted above, Android Pie wasn't all that revolutionary. However, while it didn't completely rewrite the rule book, it did bring plenty new to the table that still exists in Android 10 and 11.

For starters, Pie made Android's user interface more colorful and rounded the way that it is today. It added colorful icons to the settings page, the Quick Settings shortcuts were changed to circles, and rounded corners were present everywhere. It was quite the visual change compared to Oreo, but in 2020, it's just how Android naturally looks.

Android Pie is the first time we got to use Google's Digital Wellbeing tools, which aimed to help us use our phones less and be more present with the world around us. The update also gave us things like Adaptive Battery and recommended apps in the app drawer.

Is Android 10 available yet?

Android 10 logo

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

On September 3, 2019, Google released Android 10 to the masses. Android 10 was very much so an evolution of what was started with Android 9 Pie, and the end result was a darn great OS update.

Android 10 got rid of Pie's two-button navigation in favor of a fully gestural one, dark mode was finally introduced, and permissions became more powerful than ever before.

Pie has since been replaced on most Android devices in favor of Android 10, but as we'll talk about in just a second, even more changes are coming soon.

Okay — what about Android 11?

Android 11 Hero

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Although Android 10 is currently the latest public build of Android, that'll be changing very soon. Android 11 is in the developer preview stage, with a public beta expected to launch any day now.

Android 11 is looks to be another update filled with small changes and tweaks, this time focusing on things like messaging improvements, more permission upgrades, and better support for foldables and 5G.

There are some fun things like a built-in screen recorder, but all things considered, Android 11 is another evolutionary update the same way Android 10 before it was.

Android 11: Everything you need to know!

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Everything we need to is that we'll never see it on the Note 8
  • That's a bad thing? lol
  • That's the only thing I don't like about Android. I'd that they pick and choose who gets the updates.
  • Google doesn't pick who gets updates. Google updates ASOP and it's up the manufacturers to update their devices. What a device that gets updates? Then don't buy Samsung.
  • I have an S9, I'll get the update for sure.
  • Sure you will, in about 12 months which we'll be on Android Q by then lol.
  • Even so, those Samsungs already have features that will be implemented by Google for Android S. lol
  • Doubt it, but whatever helps you sleep better at night. You need all the sleep in the world with that mop on your head 😂🤣
  • Hey Beno, the pixals are the first to get updates but there always bug infested. At least by the time Samsung get's the updates the bugs are worked out. To me, that makes more sense! And worth the wait!
  • Not before the S10 (or SX) is released.
  • They, meaning Google, doesn't pick. The OEM does. So your gripe is with Samsung
  • People need to understand this more. I hear people say it's Google's issue sbut it's not it's Samsung and other OEM's issue.
  • I'm guessing the name will be android Popsicle
  • I say Pickle?
  • Na its pie
  • I have a Note8 and couldn't really give two $hit$ whether I get the update or not. I'll get it on the next device. No big deal.
  • I totally agree with you. Having the latest Android version is totally overrated. Of course it only comes out when Google's latest phone does. I don't like Google phones but this being allowed seems anti market competition.
  • Many of the features ( built in screen shot editor, gesture commands) are already on your Note 8... What the 'pure Android experience' fan boys called Samsung bloatware and heavy interface are now being mainsrmtresmed into Android by Google.... Nothing new here... Par for the course.
  • Yes... mainsrmtresmed indeed...
  • Lol
  • Every update I get less bothered.
    Starting to understand why the wife keeps her Pixel on 7.12 , change for change sake.
  • Agreed. None of these changes speed up or improve the experience. It's change just for change or to copy Apple. Take your pick. Usually, there is one or two things that keep me from updating for a few months at least. Last time it was the persistent notifications. This time it is the left side clock. I will not update if I have to have the clock cluttering my notification area when I don't have and never will have a notch on my phone..
  • Uhoh now you've done it! Notch incoming in 3...2...1...
  • Disagree....many are finding better battery life just for starters.
  • True but no need for a full Android version for two lines of code refining battery use.
  • How do you know refining battery use takes only two lines of code?
  • Yeah, it's more like three lines!
  • Yup, ever version looks a little worse. Even 8 to 8.1 gave a slightly worse UI.
  • Software gets stale, just like phones and every other piece of tech so why not update unless there's major bugs? I personally like having the look and feel changed up once in a while
  • Manufacturer skins ftw.
  • OEM skins suck and are full of unnecessary bloat that makes the phone no smooth at all and lag.
  • Agreed, that's why I use a Nokia 8
  • What a load of rubbish you talk...
  • It should be noted that the gesture for the app drawer goes away if you use a third party launcher.
  • Are you claiming there will be no swipe up for app drawer, with the combination of P and Nova?
  • The adaptive battery setting is awesome so far in the beta my battery life has been very impressive
  • Although I don't have stats to support it, I've also seen improvement in my Pixel 2 battery life.😁
  • I'll keep updating whenever there is as update if it's not breaking functionality. My S8 battery life is far better than on Nougat.
  • The main thing I need to know is if rootless Substratum is back. Otherwise I don't really care about P.
  • “Changing the volume now defaults to your media volume” So after only four years of people asking them to restore the option they first removed in KitKat, they’re not just restoring it but have actually decided it’s important enough to make the default setting. Good to hear.
  • Came for the new gestures, stayed for media being default volume and better battery life.
  • I'm liking the new gestures in Android P now I'm seen them in action. I'm looking forward to having Android P when I get my Pixel 2 XL.
  • Can I get the beta version? I have sprint lgv30+. Is my phone part of the treble program? Thanks for any info you can give me.
    Other than that, does anyone have any idea of when official release would be available for my device. Thank you
  • No beta for you....and you will see this update around this time in 2019, if at all
  • You really think it will be that long? I sincerely believe/hope LG is getting better about this and will do what is needed to update in a timely fashion.
  • Yup, it will. If you want timely updates buy a Pixel.
  • Everything at need to know, but not the version nomenclature.
    Is really crazy to me, the difference between this version and the Oreo name speculation fury.
    I have not seen one comment or article speculating of or demanding to know name of Android P. This time frame with Android O, you couldn't not see the mystery and wonderment over the name.
  • I'm sure it will be called Android P, or for the less childish ones out there, Android 9.
  • "The user interface is more rounded and colorful" Ugh, it's starting to look like Touchwiz.
  • Nooooooo!!
  • Well some of the new stuff sounds great. Some not so much. I'm not sure about all the gesture navigations. I'll reserve judgement untill I actually have a device with Peppermint. I can so visualize the red and white striped bot now.
  • Is it me or does anyone notice when you enter the multitasking cards and start to go left or right the cards jump to enlarge, how the transition is kinda of janky. Google either needs to get rid of it or make it more fluid.
  • Might be related to the haptic feedback.
  • It's in Beta!
  • On the latest Beta with no obvious issues to report for my Pixel 2.
  • I want this, uhh, why? Guess I missed it. Slow down my apps and save battery? Gee, thanks. Replace the buttons with swipes? WTF? I may skip this one.
  • My favourite feature from Android P is adaptive battery. I'm in 2 minds whether to downloading Android P beta on my Pixel 2 XL.
  • I've seen these features before. Where was that? Oh yeah, several years ago on my Palm Pre. This just proves that WebOS was the best mobile OS ever.
  • WebOS was so far ahead of what Android and Apple had to offer at the time the Pre was released. What a shame it's being used in LG refrigerators or whatever these days.
  • It's funny how what used to be a childish, gimmicky interface on Samsung's TouchWiz a few years ago, because of colours, is now considered a nice change on stock Android – just take a look at old Galaxy S's settings page.
  • Strong and sentimental memories of Palm's WebOS are getting a grip on me. Those were the times! What a good OS! So: nothing really new. All been chewed a decade ago.
  • This was literally the first thing I saw in the new designs and I love it.
  • Is it going to be called Android Pickle?
  • Beta 3 was better and much more stable on my Pixel XL 2. This version is buggy, laggy, and glitchy. There are too many places it has happened, and it happens at random, especially when switching apps. Went back to Oreo until the final public release...
  • This is why I'll wait for the final release of Android P which we still don't know what the final version will be called.
  • I'm hoping for praline
  • I'm wondering if the gestures will still work with physical buttons, my guess is no though.
  • How about Android 9. These childish names need to stop.
  • Uh oh here comes the fun police...
  • It's how Android is and has really that angry about a name?
  • I'm not angry about it at all, I just find it unprofessional, that's all.
  • I like the sweet treat names for Android. Way better the boring naming of crApple"s iOS with another number tracked on.
  • I just liken the whole treat name like showing up for a business meeting dressed like a clown. Sure, it's fun lovin', but it doesn't leave a good impression, in my opinion. Unless you're pitching an idea involving clowns, then bravo! You may have just nailed it! The best part of all of this is it ties into the ads Android was running a few years ago: We're all together, but not the same.
  • Childish? It's a letter.
  • Yes, "P" is just a letter, but once the letter is associated with a treat, I feel the OS was designed for a Mattel product aimed at kids.
  • Do you beat up old ladies for fun, hate rainbows and sunshine and suck all of the joy out of a room like a dementor? Kick puppies? Just wondering.
  • -I beat up old ladies because it's my job. I do feel underpaid, but it keeps them from clogging up traffic lanes;
    -I don't hate rainbows, but they look like they are painted upside-down. Why does something so purdy look like a frown?;
    -I do prefer clowdy days, mainly because the sun is highly reflective on my bald head, and I refuse to be held responsible again for any bodily harm or property damage due to temporary blindness. No, I will not wear a hat!;
    -For some reason, I actually bring joy TO a room. I can't figure that out, either;
    -I will not kick puppies... again. I will, however, lose a steel-toe boot in a dog owner's head if they are too stupid to do something about their annoyingly barky f'n dog! And they better pick up their dog's "unwanted puppies".
  • There's no Android 9 images for Nexus devices or the Pixel C. Might want to update the article to reflect that.
  • Didn't we already know that was the case back in I/O? It's the source of all of the belief that Google is abandoning tablets.
  • And once again I successfully predicted the title of Android P: Pie :-)
  • I really dig the gestures. They are very efficient, not like what Apple did on the X, introducing semi-efficient gestures for the sake of it.
  • Still despite the terrible name, I'm looking forward to Android 9, especially the adaptive battery and AI features and trying out the gestures. Android 9 has been released officially today and that explains why there wasn't a security update bulletin for this month. Oh well at least I'll be first in line to get Android Pie, being a Pixel 2 XL owner.
  • How come you are calling it andriod 9 when you posted that crapple ( your words ) sucks because they just use the next number for the new update?
  • Second in line actually.....behind Essential owners lol.
  • The essential phone got the update extremely fast
  • I really question gestures in the first place for a UI's main interface. Great for when you get knowledgeable and comfortable with the UI. My beef is that if you don't know them, then you are screwed. To me, its never clear what they are, which one to use, etc. unless you look it up. Let's take how Verizon pushes the update on you. You keep getting nagged, so you do it. Now, suddenly, you have no idea how to use the phone! (Trust me, Ive seen that exact scenario many times). I'm talking about regular folks who probably don't read tech blogs like this one. Can't tell you how many conversations with my wife (total non-techie) that start with "why the f doesn't my xyz work anymore? Did they f'n update AGAIN?" Very frustrating for the average person - they finally get comfortable with a UI then BAM - it does work that way anymore. Turned out to be a near disaster for Microsoft with the ill-conceived Windows 8. Windows 10 falls into the "what's that f'n gesture again??" for me. I have to use Win& all day at work, then trying to reset really sucks. To the person saying a UI gets stale, for the average person, they don't care. Change for change sake does not sit well
  • I totally agree.
  • I also concur. I hope there is an option to turn off the gestures and restore the nav bar. I can't imagine trying to teach my parents how to use this after their phones update.
  • Need a hack on how to move the time back to the right.
  • Agreed.
  • How do I restore the old long press behavior of Bluetooth from the swipe down notification. It doesn't default to the available devices instead it shows an option to pair. I can tap and get the a available devices but that's one more tap. Ideas?
  • Recently updated my Google Pixel running android P Beta 4 to latest android Pie 9.0. In android Pie 9.0 features, my favorite is Navigation gestures, Adaptive battery, Display cutout / Notch and Lock down. But i can't found Digital wellbeing feature on my Google Pixel settings. Already signed up with android Pie digital wellbeing beta page. But can't get link on my mail. Can you please help me to get one of my favorite android 9 Pie feature?
  • Pixel 2XL updated to Pie yesterday. Bugs left and right. Cannot turn off sounds for outgoing text messages in Messages app.
  • It isn't just for text messages, you can't turn of sounds for anything in Android Pie, which is ridiculous. Hopefully Google will fix this with an update.
  • A fix for original pixels for slow charging? What about the 2 XL? 2 hours to charge from 50% to 100%
  • Very disappointing, Pie seems more about copying Apple than pushing Android forward.
  • Even so, I'd still choose Google's implementation over Apple's all day long because it's Android and of course being a Pixel owner.
  • Beno... Ever the delusional fan boy who thinks Google Pixel can do no wrong. Sure, I buy only Samsung Notes... But I freely admit not all is perfect.
  • Lol, Pixel owners screwed by reduced charging speeds.. Thanks for being beta loosers. I look forward to a working Android P in my Note 8 early next year, lol.... Ie. Who cares when?
  • I am believing that he Sony Xperia ZX3 will getting the update immediately.
  • 😀😀when was this new variant released? The closest to the device you seem to be talking a about runs 9.0 out of the box! The XZ3. On another hand I blame Sony for releasing a lot of devices that end up confusing the consumers.
  • The last Android version change I recall that really impressed me was from Jellybean to KitKat.
  • Physical back button and open apps button are key for me to keep using android.
    If I wanted iOS stupidity I'd have an iphone.
  • I had a Note 3 for 3 years.
    LOVED the phone.
    Love the s-pen.
    HATED Samsung's lack of updates & support for a premium phone.
    Got a Pixel 2 XL a little over a year ago. Love this phone along with the timely updates.
    Still miss the s-pen. Hope to have this phone for another 2 years.
    It will be hard to go back to Samsung.