Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push

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We've previously covered version 9's features, here, and here, after playing around with developer builds of Android P - the its codename. The Essential Phone was one of the third-party preview devices, which goes to show you how proper use of Project Treble can improve updates. The latest revelation comes days after the Pixel 3 XL surfaced on a Geekbench listing that confirmed the presence of a Snapdragon 845 SoC and Android P out-of-the-box.

Android 9 Pie is officially available for Pixel owners. Android Pie is now rolling out to Pixel devices, plus the Essential Phone.

A new dashboard in Android 9 Pie will detail how much time you've spent on your phone or tablet in a given day, which apps you use the most (organized by time), how many times you unlock a device and the number of notifications you've received.

The date is hardly a surprise since both the original Pixel and the Pixel 2 were also unveiled on October 4 of 2016 and 2017.

And devices that participated in the Beta program from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Essential, as well as all qualifying Android One devices, will receive this update by the end of this fall! It will also be available to select beta users with Android 9 Pie and Pixel smartphone.

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The Pixel phones have been widely praised for their photographic capability but, perhaps more importantly, they are also at the forefront of any Android updates.

Rather than tapping the Recents button to open the app switcher, Android Pie requires you to do a small swipe up from the bottom of your screen. Unlike Samsung, which keeps bringing its Note launches forward, Google isn't interested in beating new iPhones to market.

We've known for a while now that Google has high hopes for its incoming Pixel 3 range of smartphones, and has seemingly engineered them with just one main focus, gun down Apple's new iPhone range. Once you've accepted your invitation, Digital Wellbeing will appear in your phone's Settings app.

With this feature enabled, you can set a time at which the Night Light and Do Not Disturb features are turned on, and the screen turns to grayscale.

Another AI feature, called App Actions, learns what common tasks you complete at a specific time, place, or when an accessory is connected to the device. For example, you might be getting ready for your commute to work, and App Actions will suggest navigation in Google Maps or resuming an audiobook in Google Play Books.