Google has released a new version of Android, called ‘Android 9 Pie.’ This release – albeit only sent to Pixel and Essential phones at this stage – comes without warning and well ahead of schedule. The update brings numerous upgrades and improvements, but here are the highlights –

Android phones will become more intuitive, noticing what you are doing and trying to help. For example, if you regularly take the same route to work, you may be told if your favourite coffee shop is closed, or if there is a faster commute option, without you asking.

Things are about to get more efficient. The update will work out which apps you use most, and assign them additional battery power. So, rather than all of your apps running in the background and using the same amount of battery life, your favourite apps will be prioritised.

It’s going to get easier to find your way. When you do something on your phone, the system will use its intuition and make suggestions. For example, if you usually watch videos when listening to YouTube, when you plug your headphones on, your phone will suggest opening the YouTube app.

It’s going to hold you accountable. The new digital well-being system will tell you which apps take up most of your time, and allow you to police your screen time. You can set “do not disturb,” times, and your phone will revert to greyscale, and incoming calls and texts will cease until an assigned time. This comes on the back of digital health and well-being becoming important, and companies realising that people need tools to control their digital habits.

Not all the functionality promised in Android 9 is available immediately, but Pixel and Essential users will be excited to get hold of the new system, which is being distributed today.