Here’s the tale with every new edition of Android, in a nutshell: it’s tremendous, however, you may actually handiest get it on a phone that Google makes. Sometime next year, new telephones with the aid of different corporations will launch with it. The Android cellphone in your pocket would possibly get it, perhaps, but it’ll take longer than you want, and certainly, the new edition isn’t that one of a kind, so you shouldn’t sweat it too much. Yes, fragmentation is an issue, however, it’s higher now than it was, thanks to Google’s capacity to push a few key updates out through the Google Play shop alternatively of getting to rely upon complete device updates.
The story with Android nine Pie isn’t significantly special, but its modifications some of the ones tried and true (and more and more worn-out) lines a piece. For the primary time, I’ve had the threat to test the legitimate release of a new edition of Android on a phone not made by using Google, the Essential Phone. That’s an amazing signal.
Although most of the promised capabilities aren’t delivery or are still in beta, I assume this version of Android is right sufficient that users must demand the update for his or her telephones. I’m now not looking to organize a campaign to shake off our complacent reputation of a terrible replace reputation quo, but I am saying we should bring lower back a little bit of the vintage outrage at providers, producers, and Google itself.
The many features in Android 9 Pie cohere into something that feels greater polished than the previous few versions of Android. There are lots to like and fewer excuses than ever for updates no longer to pop out for existing phones in a well-timed manner.
GOOGLE ANDROID nine PIE
Notification management still top notch
AI-primarily based shortcuts
Better screenshots, text selection, and auto-rotation
Gesture navigation no longer as clean as it is able to be
Some of the nice capabilities are Pixel-only
Android OEMs nonetheless want to get higher at freeing updates
We’ve been residing with the equal three-button core navigation gadget in Android for numerous years now, however with Pie, Google is eventually giving a gesture-based totally interface a shot. It may not be the most important new feature inside the OS, but it’s actually the maximum distinguished and the most divisive. Bear with me here due to the fact I’m going to overthink this, however, I think it’s worth it as it illuminates a key point approximately Google’s layout path.
The new device replaces the lower back, domestic, and multitasking buttons with a unique domestic button, gestures, and different buttons that appear on an as-needed foundation. In idea, it’ll make destiny Android telephones greater handy to customers who’re used to the iPhone X’s gesture gadget, and it also gives a few advantages (swiping requires much less accuracy than tapping). Overall, the new gesture device works, but it’s conceptually complex.
To see what I mean right here’s a quick description of ways gestures work: You swipe up once to get to an outline pane. The Overview pane (aka your these days used apps) lets you swipe between apps or enable cut up display screen with a hidden menu on the app’s icon. On Pixel phones, you’ll also get an AI-pushed list of suggested apps and a search bar. Swipe up once more, and also you’ll get to the app drawer with icons for all your apps. You tap the mouse button to go domestic, or you can drag the mouse button to the proper to quickly switch among apps in a display screen that’s comparable, but not same, to the Overview screen. Along with all of this, the traditional Android back button will nevertheless show up occasionally next to the house button because Google hasn’t but advanced a gesture for “again.”
It’s… Lots. I’m now not against trouble in precept in terms of UX — I have confidence in humanity’s potential to examine — but there’s no denying it takes some time to feel like your way around.
The funny thing is, I think the bad reaction isn’t approximately how complex gestures are. Instead, it’s approximately how they sense. As I’ve written earlier than, switching to a generally gesture-based navigation machine is an unstable flow for Google, due to the fact those structures simplest experience proper if they… Feel top. Any “jank” in the animation or weirdness in the physics of transferring factors at the display will make a user experience unmoored and sad.