Android P is officially Android 9.0 Pie, rolling out now
Six months after the initial announcement and after several months of beta testing, Android P is finished and has a new name: Android 9.0 Pie. The updated software is rolling out now to Pixel phones, with other handsets in the beta program getting the finalized OS in the next month or two.
As you'll know if you've been following along, Android P is designed to be the most intelligent version of Android yet. It tailors battery use and screen brightness based on how you use it, for example, so you get more juice between charges and don't have to keep manually adjusting the brightness yourself.
Also new are the App Actions, suggested shortcuts into apps that appear when Android thinks you need them – so a route to work in Google Maps when you're about to leave for the office, or a playlist in Spotify when you connect your headphones, for example.
"We've built Android 9 to learn from you – and work better for you – the more you use it," says Android's Sameer Samat in a blog post. "From predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take, to prioritizing battery power for the apps you use most, to helping you disconnect from your phone at the end of the day, Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone."
Like Apple, Google is introducing some "digital wellbeing" tools that make it easier to manage how much time you spend in apps and set limits if you want to. The suite of features can also encourage you to wind down at the end of the day by turning the screen gray and muting notifications.
These digital wellbeing parts of Android 9.0 Pie aren't yet finished. Google says users with Pixel phones can try them in beta form now. Everyone else will have to wait until later in the year.
Navigation has also been given a revamp, with a single home button at the foot of the screen and a greater reliance on gestures rather than buttons (the Overview button is replaced by a swipe up, for instance).
As Google updates apps such as Gmail and Google Maps separately, new versions of Android don't come with quite as many new features as the equivalent iOS updates, but this still seems like a solid step forward for the mobile OS.
As for when it will reach your Android phone, it's hard to say. After the Pixel phones, Android One devices such as the Nokia 8 Sirocco should be next in line, followed by handsets from partners in the Android P beta: Sony, OnePlus, Essential, HMD Global, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.
You can also expect Android 9.0 Pie to be on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL when they appear later this year.