Android 9 Pie for Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact : Features and Release
Sony launched the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact devices at MWC 2018 and released in April with pre-installed Android 8.0 Oreo. The next major android update for these flagships is Android 9 Pie and the Beta of Pie has been released for XZ2.
As many users have known already, Sony enabled the Project Treble of Android Oreo in Xperia XZ2 series devices, so future updates will be much easier to push for the manufacturer and also carriers. So the release of updates will be faster and now we see the first fruits of Treble with the Beta of Android 9 Pie for XZ2.
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Along with Google Pixel and Pixel 2 lineups, the Beta has been available for XZ2 flagship since its release by Google on May 8th at I/O 2018 event. The keyfeatures of the Android P Beta include new Gesture-based interface, Android P AI support, Digital wellbeing, Adaptive battery and App actions. Previously, with the DP1 of Android P, Call recording notification, Wi-Fi RTT, Screenshot markup editor and many new features arrived.
When will Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact get Android Pie ?
The Beta of Android P is available to download from the official website, but it is only meant for developers, indeed. The Beta is not be very stable, so not suitable for daily use. Thus, users may have to wait till the final release of Android Pie through OTA.
The Search giant released the final edition of Pie on August 6th, a few days earlier than the rumoured release date of August 20th. The rollout for Pixel and Pixel 2 devices had begun on the same day and in many regions the rollout completed already. According to Gizchina, Sony is going to begin the rollout of Pie for its flagship devices from September and the rollout will be completed in November.
However, in the official blog, Sony confirms that Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will receive the Android 9 update by November 2018. So most likely the Japanese tech giant may begin the rollout of sweet Pie for unlocked Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact users in late-September or October 2018. The carrier locked devices in Europe and Australia might get the update in November or December 2018. The confirmed rollout dates of Android Pie for Sony XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will be revealed in coming days.
Android 9 Pie Exclusive Features
Gesture based Interface
Almost every android user is familiar with the three button navigation bar on the bottom of the screen, the design which was introduced back in 2011. Recently, Apple brought new gestures to multitask between apps with iPhone X. Now Google has also redesigned the interface in Android P, so that the new navigation bar shows only one button, Home.
So users have to swipe up on the screen to bring the list of recent apps, the list will appear horizontally instead of vertically in previous android iterations. Thus, the multitasking in Android P looks similar to that in iOS.
The back button will appear inside applications according to need and will disappear after that. So with the new navigation bar and the small pill shaped home button, the screen burn-in issues will be reduced in OLED screns but not applicable for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact devices which sport LCD screens.
The Shush feature of Android Pie is a great move to reduce smartphone addiction and constant beeping of devices. The Shush feature is an enhancement of the native Do not Disturb mode of Android and gets activated automatically when the user puts the device face down. So there will be no notification beeps, pings and call rings till user picksup the device again.
As a result, user don’t have to activate Do not Disturb manually and just with one simple gesture when required. The Shush gesture may get refined further in upcoming updates.
Screenshot Markup editor
One of the best features of Android P is screenshot markup editor. The editor facilitates to easily edit and add some details to screenshots after they have taken. After taking the screenshot, the Edit option will appear through which user can access the Markup editor.
In the Markup editor users can crop and also draw on the screenshot in required colors. In DP2, the search giant refined the feature as Google Markup. More improvements may come in the upcoming previews and final release of Android 9.0.
With every android release, Google pushedout new optimizations to reduce the battery drain and improve battery life. In Android P, the Search giant comes up with an elegant feature called adaptive battery. The feature works in collaboration with on-device machine learning to save battery.
The Adaptive Battery feature works in the way that it determines which apps the user going to use in the next few hours and what are the inactive apps and reduce CPU wake-up calls. According to Dave Burke at I/O 2018, the feature will reduce battery usage upto 30 percent which is awesome, indeed. However, as the Beta testers are still evaluating the battery usage of Android P, so in a few days, details about how much battery Android P can save, will be revealed.
Smartphone addiction has become a big problem in these days, to combat it, the Search giant brought a new feature called Digital Wellbeing with the Android P Beta. In the dashboard, we can check details like how much time on each app we spending, how many time we unlock the phone etc. By using the App timer feature, the user can restrict the time spent on a specific app or YouTube videos.
Wind Down is another feature that changes the display to greyscale automatically, to reduce strain on eyes while watching smartphone at night time. Overall, it seems that Google aims at healthy smartphone usage with the Digital wellbeing feature.
Simultaneous Bluetooth Audio Connection upto Five devices
In Android 8.1, users are able to connect only two Bluetooth devices at the simultaneously, one for calls and another for Media. Now in Android P, we can connect upto 5 devices for audio output through Developer options. However, most users probably don’t need this feature.
Although, five devices can be connected at the same time, but this is not mean’t for simultaneous playback at this time. With upcoming previews, many refinements to the Bluetooth devices section may arrive.
The App actions feature is a great AI associated feature coming with the Pie update to improve User experience. Using on-device machine learning, Android predicts the next step of user and show appropriate actions. For example, when the user connects headphone into the jack, a dailog box with actions asking about the source of music, whether to play from favourite playlist in the Spotify or not.
Such actions will appear in Google Playstore, Google Assistant, Maps and many places in Androud Pie. User can simply tap on the required action to jump directly without multiple taps. The feature may get refined further in the forthcoming Android Q update.
Update on 15/7/2018 :
The Search Giant pushed out the third Beta (DP4) of Android P for Pixel and Pixel 2 devices on July 2nd. It should also reach Xperia XZ2 devices at some point in coming days.
The new beta came with a bundle of visual changes and bugfixes. The visual changes include removal of background fill from Material icons in the Quick Settings toggles, Media volume sliders and in Settings menu. So icons now appear with a gorgeous look and many improvements may come in upcoming previews. In DP4, upcoming events are displayed in the Lock screen, so that user can quickly check them. New Back button in the shape of a chevron instead of a triangle.
Update on 31/7/2018 :
Finally, it seems the development of Android P has got finished nearly. On July 26th, the Search Giant starts the rollout of Android P DP5 cum Beta 5 to the Beta enrolled Pixel and Pixel 2 lineup devices. The VP of Android Engineering, Dave Burke posted in the official blog that the preview 5 is the final one and the public release version is coming soon. He also noted that the Beta 4 features near final system behaviour, so developers can check their apps and make them fully compatible with notched Displays and API level 28. The latest preview brought no major changes, the microphone button in the Pixel Launcher Search bar has got removed. The Autorotate icon in the Quick Settings got revamped with new look.
The registered Xperia XZ2 users of the Beta program should get the preview 5 in coming days.
Update on 13/8/2018 :
Shortly after the release of Preview 5 aka Beta 4, Google decided to go for the public release of Android 9. Finally on August 6th, the source code of Android 9 with the codename ‘Pie’ pushed out to AOSP and the OTA rollout starts for Pixel and Pixel 2 flagships. Essential also starts the rollout for its flagship phone on the same day.
Sony has confirmed that the rollout of Android Pie will begin for Xperia XZ2 devices in next month and complete in November. So unlocked editions and Beta users of XZ2 may receive the Pie update in September and Carrier locked edition users may get in October and November. The rollout dates may according to regions and technical issues. So confirmed rollout dates of Pie for Xperia XZ2 will be revealed in coming days.
Update on 12/10/2018 :
A few hours ago, Sony started the rollout of Android 9 Pie for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact devices. Most analysts think that the rollout would begin with Xperia XZ2 Premium, but the Japanese tech giant gives its preference for the XZ flagship lineup. Recently announced XZ3 series runs on Android 9 Pie out of the box and now XZ2 series is getting upgraded to Pie.
The Size of the update is about 1 GB and the version number is 52.0.A.3.27. The update also includes October month Security Patch. We are receiving reports from many European and the US users that they have been updated to Android Pie. So in other regions too, the rollout may begin shortly.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android 9 Pie update for Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact.