Android 9.0 has arrived. And rather than go with some branded dessert item, Google has adopted a simple nickname for the latest version of its mobile OS: Pie.
Many expected the final public build to arrive later in the month — leaker Evan Blass, who typically nails this sort of stuff, penciled in the new version of Android for Aug. 20. But Google surprised everyone by beating that estimation by a few weeks. It also surprised everyone with the name; instead of dealing in decimals as it has historically done, this introductory release is simply called 'Android 9 Pie.'
Android 9 is available now for Pixel devices, though Google has a habit of rolling out updates wirelessly over a period of time. Still, if you'd rather not wait, you could always go to the Android developer site and flash the system image manually.
At the time of this writing, links to download Android 9 are live for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, as well as Google's first-generation family of flagships. Bear in mind, however, that you'll need a computer, the Android SDK Platform Tools package and a bit of familiarity with running updates via the command line to get it done.
Android Pie should be pre-installed on the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which are both expected to debut Oct. 4 at a fall event.
Interestingly, this launch edition of Android 9 doesn't include all the final features of the software. Slices, the new feature that surfaces information relating to apps within search results, will arrive in the fall. So will Digital Wellbeing, the suite of tools Google is promoting to help Android users keep tabs on the amount of time they spend on their phones. However, those running Android 9 on a Pixel device can enroll in a separate beta for Digital Wellbeing now.
We're currently installing the update on our in-house Pixel 2 XL and will report back with our early impressions of the final software soon. That said, the Android P beta was already exceptionally stable and polished, so we don't expect many major changes.
Image Credit: Google