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.