In Previous versions Android has used a standard three-button navigation bar at the bottom of the screen for ages. In Pie, you can drop the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons in favor of a new gesture-based navigation system.
If want to try this feature, click on Settings > System > Gestures > Swipe up on Home button. Your navigation bar will change right away.
Adaptive Battery and Brightness
Adaptive Battery is an expansion of the Doze feature introduced in Android 6 Marshmallow. Doze put apps that you weren’t using into a “deep sleep” to prevent them from wasting battery. Now, Adaptive Battery goes further by learning about the apps and services you use most often, then adjusting what you don’t use as much to use less battery.
Google’s launcher already recognizes the apps you’re most likely to use based on the time of day. Now, App Actions let you quickly start tasks by predicting what you want to do.
For example, you might see a shortcut to start Google Maps navigation to work in the morning. At work, you might see an App Action to chat with your coworker on Hangouts. And when you plug in headphones, you’ll see an App Action for your most recent playlist.
Similar to App Actions, Slices let you jump right to certain actions in apps. For instance, Google says that if you search for uber on your phone, you’ll see a shortcut to hail a ride to work, complete with price and ETA.
Improved Security Features
The first is that this version of Android “restricts access to mic, camera, and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle” according to Google.
Second, a new lockdown mode fortifies your phone in emergency situations. After enabling this at Settings > Security & location > Lock screen preferences > Show lockdown option, you can tap Lockdown on the Power menu. This instantly locks your phone, disables fingerprint unlocking and Smart Lock, and hides notifications on your lock screen
The dashboard shows you how many notifications apps send you, how much time you spend in apps, and how often you check your phone. You can also set daily time limits to keep yourself from wasting hours in time-sinking apps
New Accessibility Menu
A new menu in Android Pie makes it simple to access common functions for users who need assistance.
Enable this menu at Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Menu. Turn on the Use service slider and confirm the prompt, and you’ll see a new icon to the right of the navigation bar. Tap this anytime to bring up a large menu with shortcuts to Volume, Recent apps, Quick Settings, and more.
New Screenshot Shortcut
The default Power + Volume Down button combination for screenshots is a little awkward. Thus, in Android Pie, you can take a shortcut from the Power menu anytime.
What’s more, you can also tap the Edit command in the notification that appears to make adjustments to your shot right away.
Easier Screen Rotation
Android automatically switches your screen orientation based on how it’s situated. You can lock the orientation to portrait or landscape, but this turns into a pain if you need to switch often.
In Pie, if you have Auto-Rotate turned off, you’ll see a new icon on the right side of the navigation bar when you rotate your device to landscape. Tap it to lock in landscape orientation, and it will stay even if you turn back to portrait. Just tap the icon again to rotate back to portrait.
Volume and Sound Improvements
When you press a Volume button, you’ll notice the slider now appears on the right side instead of the top. What’s more, pressing volume buttons now changes the Media volume instead of the Ringer volume like before. This simple volume tweak makes it easier to avoid opening a YouTube video and accidentally playing it at full blast.
Tap the Note icon to mute or unmute media audio. You can tap the icon above this to toggle your Calls volume between Ring, Vibrate, and Mute. You’ll need to select the Gear icon to open the Sound menu and make detailed adjustments.
Selectable Dark Mode
Android Oreo included a dark mode, but the system automatically decided whether to enable it based on your wallpaper. Now you can choose for yourself at Settings > System > Display > Advanced > Device theme
Easier Text Selection
If you copy and paste a lot, you’ll love a small change in Pie. Now when you long-press to select text and grab the handles, a little magnifier lets you see exactly what you’re selecting.
More Notification Information
If you want to see which apps are sending distracting notifications, head to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications. In the Recently sent section, you can see which apps have pinged you recently. Tap See all from last 7 days to view more info.
Changing Most recent to Most frequent lets you find the worst offenders. Android will also suggest that you disable notifications from apps you swipe away frequently. Don’t forget about the notification channels introduced in Oreo, either.