6 Awesome Features of Android 9 Pie That Every Developer Should Know

By James Tredwell on December 17, 2018

Android 9 or the latest Android Pie has just arrived. As the most recent update in the sequence of Android versions, it is likely to have an array of advanced features compared to the previous versions.

In emerging mobile markets where less expensive and feature-rich Android devices enjoy a significant market share, the new OS update can make things easier for development companies and startups.

With the new OS update, Android app development in India and many emerging markets are certainly going to experience a push. In many respects, Android 9 Pie offers some exceptional as well as future-ready features that help Android stand at par with the latest technologies and development standards.

Here below we are going to explain six key features of Android Pie.

1. Gesture navigation replacing the older 3-button navigation

Android Pie offered a significant shift from all previous Android versions by replacing the common 3 button navigation with a smarter gesture-based navigation system. While the earlier navigation feature was almost a signature element of the OS, the new navigation will break that cliche with something innovative.

As for being able to use this feature of the Android 9 Pie, all future devices will come equipped with this navigation capability. But this doesn’t mean, all present Android device users will be barred from using this. You can still use the new navigation after updating the device to the latest version. By the way, even in future Android devices also you will be able to use the older button for navigation besides the new one.

Let us provide the exact details of this navigation setup.

  • You will have a pill-shaped Home button on the screen, and you can tap on that to navigate to the home screen.
  • In the case in your device the old back button still appears, it will continue to remain there like before.
  • Just a simple swipe on the home button will help you open the Recent view.
  • By swiping the home button twice on the upside, you can open the app drawer.
  • By swiping right and by holding on to the home button, you can scroll through the apps and release the hold to get to the app in the middle.
  • By quickly swiping towards the right and releasing you can get back to the previous app.
  • Just as before you can press the home button and open Google Assistant just as always.

2. AI led battery saving capability

For several OS updates Google has this unflinching focus to increase the battery life, and with the Android 9 the company probably has come up with the best solution. While most other Android versions couldn’t prevent the battery drain completely and in some cases only the battery drain increased, the latest Android Pie came with the futuristic AI-powered battery management capability.

The Adaptive Battery of Android Pie by adapting to the particular user preferences turns off the background running of certain apps to save battery life. To achieve this, the latest Android version uses Machine Learning technology.

According to Google, the company incorporated the inputs provided by the AI research organisation Alphabet of London for coming with this feature. AI for saving battery power is simply about learning the user habits and prioritizing some apps over others based on the user preferences assessed by this Machine Learning and AI-based feature. Moreover, to assure users regarding privacy concerns which is common with any AI-powered app, Google says it is not going to utilize the user preference data in any other way since the feature won’t use any cloud platform.

3. Android device user well-being program

One of the most talked-of features of the new Android Pie update is that it is going to take care of our well-being by taking active steps to reduce the addictive effects on users. Though as of now, this feature is only ready with the Pixel phones, we can expect this to be a regular feature in future flagships.

This feature will come with a Dashboard where you can set time limits for each and every app. The feature will automatically blur the icon of the respective app when you crossed the scheduled time limit allotted for each app. The dashboard will also provide you detailed reports about the apps that are taking most of your time and the apps with least engagement.

4. App Actions and App Timer

With the new Android Pie, the apps are going to deliver more user-centric user experience than ever before. The App Actions and App Timer are two such features to allow users very custom interactions.

Let’s come to the App Actions first. By just pressing long on an app icon you can quickly get the content list to play or run or list of things to choose an action. Google will provide the suggestions by your individual user habits.

This is similar to the app shortcuts that you can summon by long pressing on icons but quite different given the fact that it is Google launcher giving you suggestions of things to do with your phone. For each app, in the same way, you can set a time limit, and after crossing that limited time of use, the app icon will be blurred debarring the access.

5. Enhanced security features

Apart from an array of cool features to optimise the user experience, the new Android 9 Pie is also loaded with some stealthy features to improve data and device level security.

According to Google, no app can access certain device features and apps automatically unless you turn them on. This will prevent unsolicited access to device features and data to a great extent.

Secondly, to deal with certain emergencies the Android Pie provides you with lockdown mode which you can turn on when you think that the device is going to be handled by an unknown person. In such situations, the lockdown mode helps to hide the notifications from the screen.

6. Slices

Slice is a surprising feature in the new Android 9 update that allows the users see a slice of the app content from deep inside the app even before the user downloads it. Just carrying the same philosophy that made Google launch Instant Apps, app Slice will allow users are getting a token of the app content and feature right from the App Store listing. When deciding about downloading an app becomes tough without really having a first-hand experience of the app, Slice of the app can help.


Every year Google comes with new Android updates and does everything to enrich the mobile user experience for millions of Android device users. With the new Android 9, Pie Google set the standard of innovation and user experience even higher than the previous Android updates.

Author Bio:- Juned Ghanchi is a Co-founder and CMO of IndianAppDevelopers Company, leading mobile app developers in India mainly focused on iOS and Android platforms. He has more than 8 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies.

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