Android 9 Pie for Xperia XZ1, XZ2 and XZ Premium : Release and Features
Sony launched Xperia XZ1 and XZ2 flagships with pre-loaded Android Oreo while the Xperia XZ Premium came with Android Nougat and received the Oreo update. The next major update for these flagships is Android 9 Pie and Sony already confirmed that these devices will receive the Pie update.
Google released the Android Pie update officially on August 6th after the release of five developer previews. Sony included the Xperia XZ2 flagships in the Android P Beta program and rolled out the Beta for the registered users.
Android Pie Release for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact
According to Sony’s official blog, Sony XZ2 and XZ2 Compact users will receive the official build of Pie by November 2018. So the Japanese tech giant may start the rollout of Android Pie for the unlocked XZ2 and XZ2 Compact devices in late-October and carrier locked devices may receive in November.
Android Pie Release for Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact and XZ Premium
The rollout of Pie may disseminate to XZ1 and XZ1 Compact devices after XZ2 series. So in early or mid-November, the Japanese tech giant might begin the Pie rollout for unlocked Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact devices. The carrier locked devices may receive in late-November 2018.
The Xperia XZ Premium also receive the Android 9 update in November along with XZ1 series. The confirmed rollout dates of the Pie update for Sony flagships will be revealed in coming days.
What new Features coming with Android Pie ?
Android Pie is a major update with many new features like Gesture-based interface, Horizontal App switcher, New Messaging style, Smart replies, Adaptive battery and brightness, New Volume sliders and revamped Quick Settings with Material Design 2.0.
Editor’s Pick : Android Pie rollout begins for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact soon.
Gesture-based interface is a new interface that uses gestures instead buttons, the navbar in Pie has got no app previews button, so Xperia users have to swipe up and left or right on the pill shaped home button to access recent app previews in horizontal style similar to iPhone X. The app previews appear in full preview size in horizontal switcher instead of partial preview in vertical switcher, so users can easily switch between windows.
Adaptive battery is another feature which uses machine learning to analyze user’s behaviour to predict which apps are going to be used in coming hours and keep them only in background and kill remaining apps. So CPU wake up cycles will be reduced by 30 percent and thereby battery drain.
Icons in Quick Settings tiles and Settings Menu have been redesigned with material design 2.0. So the Pie update brings another major visual overhaul after Android Lollipop.
Another important AI associated feature in Pie is Smart Replies. The Xperia users can select suggested replies directly from the notification of Message. The replies are formed with the help of Machine learning to analyze user’s behaviour and the replies which are used frequently.
App actions is one of the AI powered features of Android Pie which helps to improve user experience and also simplify phone use. It predicts the next action of the user based on previous behaviour and show suggestions, according to it.
For example, if the user connects a headphone to the device, Android will ask about the source music and show some actions like Spotify favourite playlist. So user can simply tap on the action to play music from required source without multiple steps. Such app actions will appear throughout the Pie OS like Playstore, Smart text selection, Google Assistant and so on.
Android Pie Accessibility Menu
The Search Giant brings a new Accessibility menu with Android P DP2 cum first Beta in May and later refined it in later betas and the final release. The Menu is designed magnificently with nine gorgeous icons to assist mainly for motor-impaired Android users. However, the menu is very much useful for normal users too. The users can do or launch nine specific tasks or apps with a single tap in Accessibility menu which would otherwise need specific precise gestures.
The Accessibility menu contains icons to launch Google Assistant, Accessibility options, Power Menu, Volume Sliders, Recent Apps overview, Lock screen, Quick Settings, Notifications and take screenshot. The Search giant may add more options in the upcoming updates.
Google promotes healthy smartphone use and reduce addiction with the Android Pie update, especially with the Digital wellbeing feature. Digital wellbeing is comprised of Dashboard, App timer and Winddown which can configured easily, according to user’s needs.
By using the Dashboard in Digital well being, user can identify which are the time consuming apps and games, how many times the device has been unlocked and other details. App timer can be set to reduce the time spent on individual apps. The Winddown feature automatically changed the display mode to gray scale in night times, thereby reduces eye strain.
Update on 14/3/2019 :
The Search Giant released the first Beta of Android Q, few hours ago with many remarkable improvements in Privacy controls and App permissions. Based on the commits made in the Git and other sources, it seems that this time Google will make the Beta of Android Q available for more devices not only for Pixel series. So Sony may grab the beta build soon and release it for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium devices soon. For more details head to our Android Q page.
Update on 12/10/2018 :
The waiting is over for Xperia XZ2 users, the Japanese tech giant completed the Beta testing of Pie and begins the rollout for XZ2 and XZ2 Compact devices. Xperia XZ2 stands next to Pixel series, Essential Phone, One Plus 6 and Nokia 7 Plus devices to receive the Pie update.
The version number of the update is 52.0.A.3.27, Size of about 1 GB and also includes October month Security patch. The update sports all standard features of Android Pie and also some Sony’s enhancements. Most likely, the next Sony devices to receive the update is XZ2 Premium and then Xperia XZ1. The rollout dates will be posted here soon.
We will update this article soon with more details about Android Pie for Xperia XZ1, XZ2 and XZ Premium flagships.