Is Android Pie Coming to Your Phone?

Category: Mobile

Google released Android Pie, the latest version of its mobile operating system, on August 6, 2018. The new OS offers some big improvements over previous version Oreo, and some features that have never been seen before. The latter could change the way we use our phones dramatically. Here's what you need to know...

What's New in Android Pie?

Everyone loves pie, but how long will you have to wait for Pie? Anyone with a Google-made Pixel phone already has Pie. All others must wait until it is customized and pushed out to their devices by the vendors of said devices. That could take months to years, depending on who made or sold you your phone.

Screen addiction is now recognized as “a real thing” by technologists as well as medical professionals. (Anyone with a child over the age of three knows that already.) Apple and Google have announced plans to help users of mobile devices use them less, a startling reversal of the companies’ normal intent.

Google’s “Digital Wellbeing” tools are being rolled out to Pie Pixel users right now. They include a dashboard that show to the minute how many hours you spend with each app on your device. There is also a timer that “greys out” apps after set periods of time, making them unusable for a few hours. There is even a “Wind Down” feature that greys out the screen in preparation for bed time.

Android Pie - Mobile OS

On a related note, I recently viewed a video titled "Waking up at 5AM is changing my life" by a young man named Jordan Taylor. He starts by saying that "according to Common Sense Media, 50% of teens said that they feel addicted to their phones, meaning that only 50% of teens are actually self-aware enough to know that they are." He tells the story of his own phone addiction, and how he took steps to break it. I recommend this video highly, especially to teens.

The line between work and home has blurred. Android already has profiles for a user’s work persona and home persona. Pie has added a switch that lets one turn off “work mode” for a spell. Paradoxically, this feature could lead to greater Pie adoption among corporations, which are increasingly concerned about employees who do not have a “balanced work-life mix.”

If you want some of these "balancing" tools now, and you don't have a Pixel phone, check out the OFFTIME app in the Google Play Store. It allows you to restrict access to apps, limit phone usage, and track your usage. AppBlock has similar features, allowing you to temporarily block access to certain apps, or set a time limit for using them.

Power and Privacy

Batteries remain a great limiter of smartphones. Android Pie now determines which apps require more juice, and allocates more for them. The screen’s brightness also adjusts automatically.

Google is adding extra privacy protection to Android Pie. For one thing, app developers will now need users’ expressed permission to utilize call log data. Access to sensors and I/O devices like cameras, microphones, and headphone jacks will also require apps to seek users’ permission.

Buttons are being replaced by voice and gesture commands. A lot of people are going to be upset to see the “back” button gone from Android Pie. They will have to adapt to using a combination of swipes and swirls, or maybe saying “OK, Google, back.”

Talk to Your Phone

On the subject of voice control, I am rapidly warming to Android’s voice-to-text feature. I hate typing on keyless, tiny keyboards. The ability to dictate to the Google Assistant, “Text Loreli” followed by “Honey, what did you want me to get from the store?” is really progress! Voice-to-text works for email, too.

Voice-to-digital tech has reached an inflection point where it will take off sharply. The elderly, people with Parkinson’s, arthritis, and other afflictions that make typing difficult will be able to enjoy the benefits of hands-free communications. It can’t help but prevent driving accidents, too.

If you have an Android-powered smartphone that's not a Google Pixel, contact your mobile carrier and ask when Pie will be available for your phone. If enough people make noise, it could make a difference.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Is Android Pie Coming to Your Phone?"

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

Voice-to-Text is very useful and I'm sure has prevented accidents from users who would be finger-texting otherwise. NOW, when will they get rid of that STUPID volume control that prevents us from turning the volume to max without tapping 'OK, we know that our hearing can be damaged'...I wonder how many accidents that has caused!! We don't need a Nanny, Google!

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

Regardless of any real or virtual new features, I will definitely avoid the new Android version because it allegedly prevents recording of phone calls.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

If it prevents recording phone calls, I'm out too. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to reference recorded calls for info. Somehow I feel that the coming update will be unavoidable though. If so, it's time to root and deal with the consequences.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

Or you could always use your smartphone as a phone.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

Continuation of my previous post.

Google’s motivation for preventing phone call recording is allegedly the pretext that call recording is illegal in some countries.

To the best on my knowledge, it is illegal to use a phone as a remote control detonator of a bomb planted in Google’s headquarters.

I therefore suggest that mobiles phones, Android or otherwise, should be banned in the occupied territory called California.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

" developers will now need users’ expressed permission to utilize call log data.."


Now Google can have it ALL to itself.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2018

"A lot of people are going to be upset to see the “back” button gone from Android Pie."

Bob, you are wrong. At least at my Pixel 1 gen "back" button still here and working fine.

I'm using Pie since Aug 7 and actually like it. There are some glitches, but I think, they come from old apps that conflict with Pie (I have at least two that I have to use for work). This version has a lot of changes in API. So after reboot those glitches disappear, at least in my case.

To lovers of call recording - what stops you from installing specially designed for that app? I didn't check it, but pretty sure it already exist and not alone. Drop a line if I'm wrong.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2018

"Google is adding extra privacy protection..."

Joke of the month, Right?

Posted by:

22 Aug 2018

Answer to Kirill’s question:

>>>> ...what stops you from installing specially designed for that app?

Goggle stops us!

There are indeed numerous third party applications for phone call recordings. However, Android Pie was specifically designed to prevent recording of phone calls by ANY third party application.

This is a decisive reason to avoid Android Pie!

Posted by:

23 Aug 2018

Unitary, thanks for info! But I think, there will be a way to beat Google at that. Anything can be hacked. It can be banned at Google app store, but there are other stores. I'd check xda-developers for that regularly or just ask there specifically. Since now Pie is exclusively at Pixel phones, not likely the solution is here, but I bet will be soon. Switching to Pie is almost inevitable, but remember Microsoft's claims about unbreakable activation for every next version of Windows.

As a side note - it's a good market niche for a separate bluetooth device that can record calls. Thanks to Google.

Posted by:

27 Aug 2018

Features, features,features...Worked for ATT 32 years before cell phones. Never thought I would see a phone cost $1200.00. About time we get a good smart phone for about 2 - 3 hundred bucks. Cost is way too high for what you get. Why doesn't it come with a case that will protect it and glass that doesn't need a glass cover? I think Google may have the right Idea cut back and get people off the phone

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