Android 9 Pie introduces some new features that can help small business owners be more productive and address work-life balance. The new operating system, which follows Android 8 Oreo, has already been released for Google Pixel users and will be included in new 2018/2019 phone releases. Pie will also be rolled out to Samsung, LG, Motorola and other devices in the coming months as each manufacturer and carriers provide more details about launch dates for the new OS, according to Tech Radar.
Regardless of the device you're using, Pie has some solid built-in features for business owners, like App Slices, App Actions and Digital Well Being. Android's release aims to keep pace with Apple's iOS 12 update, which includes new AR functionality, shortcuts and group FaceTime.
Adaptive Battery & Brightness
The most valuable addition to Pie is its adaptive battery. Android collaborated with Google's machine learning unit Deep Mind to create a battery that can adjust to the apps you're using. It uses machine learning to predict what apps you will and won't use throughout the day, and direct battery resources accordingly. It also introduced adaptive brightness, which can adjust automatically based on your area's light exposure.
This can have major implications for extending your battery life. For business owners, this means having your phone alive and well for longer than with Android 8 Oreo.
App Actions and Slices
Actions are Android's way of further integrating applications into your moment-to-moment smartphone usage. Instead of opening an app, Android has integrated app features into aspects of your phone's user interface. If you search for something on Google, for example, Pie will also populate relevant application information in your search suggestions, like from your phone's photos.
It also provides suggested and frequently used apps in the app drawer. Slices are like Actions, but more robust. If you search Lyft, for example, you can also view prices to destinations and driver ETAs. This provides extended usability from a business perspective as your device learns about your usage and adjusts to better serve your needs. While it may be a less tangible addition compared to something like adaptive battery, Actions and Slices are ways for your phone to be even smarter, blending tools and applications that were once always mutually exclusive.
Digital Well Being
The Digital Well Being program in Android 9 Pie is focused on allowing users to learn more about their device usage and set limitations on how they use their phones. It will break down how much time you spend on your phone as well as how much time you spend in each application. You'll be able to set daily time limits and even specify a daily schedule, so your phone adjusts to your usage as you get ready for bed – it will fade to grayscale and automatically enter do not disturb mode while you sleep. Some of these features are still in beta, but if you have a Google Pixel smartphone, you can test them out now.
Digital Well Being can help business owners with work life balance, but so can the new Do Not Disturb feature that allows you to silence notifications for a restful evening. By being able to analyze your device usage, you can get a better understanding of where you're spending your time. You can also set limits or reminders for when you need to unplug from work. These kinds of features can push business owners to analyze the ever-blending lines between work and home.
Google's Android 9 Pie comes with a few solid features that can impact small businesses. The increased integration, adaptive battery life and focus on device usage can all benefit workers. This release was a step from Android toward creating a personal device that is responsive and adjusts to its user's behavior. There are obviously some privacy concerns with this kind of development, but Android also kept this in mind when creating Pie. Android Pie 9 will cut off microphone, camera and sensors access to all apps running the background. It will also keep all of the data from the adaptive battery on the device as opposed to in the cloud, according to Wired. These two steps toward better device privacy mean you can use Android 9 Pie and rest a little easier.