Android 9 Pie for Sony Xperia XZ1 : Rumour Roundup
Sony Xperia XZ1 is the last year flagship from Sony, arrived with pre-installed Android 8.0 Oreo and also project Treble enabled. The next big update for XZ1 flagship is Android 9.0 Pie which is officially released on August 6th.
Google released the first developer preview of Android 9.0 P in March and later released the first Beta cum DP2 in May at I/O 2018. On June 6th, the search giant pushed out the Android 9.0 Beta 2 update officially. The final beta of Android P arrived on July 6th, later the final version came on August 6th, a bit earlier than expected release date.
According to tech analysts, the unlocked XZ1 flagship might receive the Android Pie update in late-September or October. Last year, Sony began the Oreo rollout to the XZ flagship in November. This time, the rollout may progress quickly due to Project Treble. Perhaps, The carrier locked Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact devices receive the update in October or November 2018.
According to Gizchina, Sony is going to begin the Android Pie rollout for its flagships including Xperia XZ1 from September. However, according to the Sony‘s official blog, the Xperia XZ1 users will receive the Android 9 Pie update by November 2018. Official Android Pie rollout details will be revealed in coming days. Now we will roundup what new features coming to Xperia XZ1 with the update.
Android 9.0 Pie Exclusive Features
The Android 9.0 Pie update sports many exciting features like Gesture-based interface, Markup editor, App actions, Digital wellbeing, Wi-Fi RTT, new emojis and so on.
The Gesture based interface works without the app previews button, it totaly revamps the android user experience. So to preview apps, user just have to swipe up on the navigation bar and then app previews will be displayed which are horizontally scrollable like iOS. Android P navigation bar shows only the small Home button most of time as back button appears only inside apps.
Digital wellbeing is a feature to decrease smartphone addiction and promote healthy usage. In the dashboard, user can check which apps are consuming most of the time, how many times the phone is unlocked and many more details.
Adaptive battery is another useful feature to reduce unnecessary battery drain using machine-learning. Alphabet’s AI arm DeepMind, is behind the Adaptive battery feature in Android Pie. Dave Burke told at I/O 2018, that Adaptive battery predicts which apps user going to use in coming hours and switch off the remaining apps, reducing the CPU wake up calls upto 30%. So battery drain is reduced and efficiency will be improved. So Xperia XZ1 users can enjoy increased battery backup after Android 9.0 update.
User Interface changes
In the DP4 of Android P, Google made remarkable changes to the stock user interface which improve user experience. The Background fill of some icons is changed in Quick Settings toggles, Volume Slider icons and Settings Menu.
Navigation bar also refined further in the third Beta, the shape of the Back button changed from a Triangle to a Chevron. A Keyboard toggle icon is also added to Navbar and appear while typing at where the App previews button was present.
The Autorotate button in the Quick Settings Toggles of Android 9 has got revamped in the final release. The button look gorgeous and also works great. In earlier previews, Google changed the background fill many icons in the Quick Settings, but the Autorotate button design has changed in the final release.
Horizontal App Previews
Currently the Xperia XZ1 users running on Android 8.0 Oreo are multitasking through vertical app switcher which shows only a part of the app. In the Android P Beta rolled out by Sony for XZ2 users, horizontal app switcher is there which makes multitasking fluid like and also more easy for user. However, in the Beta, horizontal previews show the full app in smaller preview size than that in original Google Pixel preview size. But Sony may refine further in the forthcoming final rollout of the Pie update.
Android Pie app actions are very much useful to users and also provide simply great experience. The App actions feature predicts the user’s next move and shows action suggestions based on the previous behaviour. For example, when the user connects headphone to the device, Pie will ask about the source of music and also show some quick suggestions. So the user can play music from favourite playlist in Spotify with a single tap only.
Such actions will appear in Android Pie in Playstore, Maps, Google Assistant, Smart Text selection and so on. Google may improve the App actions feature further in upcoming Android releases.
Digital Well Being
Google introduced a feature called Digital Wellbeing with the Android 9 Pie update to reduce smartphone addiction which is raising now-a-days. By using Digital Wellbeing features users can restrict the smartphone usage and also reduce eyestrain. However, the Beta version of Digital wellbeing is available only for Google Pixel and Pixel 2 users. Recently, HMD Global released the feature for Nokia 7 Plus users. Albeit Sony released many betas of Android P for XZ2, Digital Wellbeing is not there in those builds. According to Google, the feature will come out of Beta stage and available to all users in this fall.
In Digital Wellbeing Dashboard, users can check for which apps are consuming most of thier time and screen unlock counts. App Timer is a feature designed to restrict the time spect on specific apps. By using Winddown, Android will automatically changes the display to grey scale mode in night time.
Widevine L1 Support
The Xperia XZ2 beta users got Widevine L1 support with the third beta of Android Pie. The Xperia XZ1 users may also receive the Widevine L1 support with the update, according to tech analysts. The XZ1 flagships supports Widevine L3 on Android 8.0 Oreo. So Netflix and Amazon videos can’t got go above 480p resolution due to lack of Widevine L1 support.
At the moment only a handful of flagships support Widevine L1 which facilitates playback of Netflix HD content, and Pixel 2 XL is one of them. If Xperia XZ1 users get the Widevine L1 support through the Android 9 update, Netflix HD and other online HD videos will play without any problems.
Update on 8/7/2018 :
Google released the third beta (DP4) of Android P on 2nd, July which some bugfixes and improvements over earlier Beta. The latest beta contains Mult-Camera API which brings native support for two or more camera modules. So camera performance will be improved in upcoming flagships and even in existing devices with Android P update. Not only that, the new Beta enabled the Events upcoming feature on lockscreen which was disabled in earlier preview. Overall, the DP4 is a near-final preview of Android 9.0 P and is stable enough to give a try.
Update on 27/7/2018 :
The Final preview of Android 9.0 has arrived on July 25th, as noted earlier in the official roadmap. Google also begins the OTA rollout for the registered Pixel and Pixel 2 series owners on the same day and partner devices like Xperia XZ2 should receive in coming days.
The VP of Android Engineering, Dave Burke posted in the blog, that the public release version of Android P is coming soon. He also noted the developers should be ready with the apps supporting API version 28 and compatible with notched displays. The final preview appears very near to the public release version and also stable. In this preview, Google removed the Assistant-launching Microphone button from Pixel launcher.
Update on 9/8/2018 :
In contrast with the earlier report claiming Android P would come on August 20th, the Search Giant released the public release version of Android 9 on August 6th. Since the final preview is stable enough, no major changes come with the official version of Android 9. The update came with the codename of Pie which is really awesome. However, the features App slices and Digital Wellbeing are not present in the official version, Google announced that they will come in another update by the end of fall.
The Android 9 Pie update rollout starts for Google Pixel and Essential devices. Sony is yet to announce the rollout dates of Android Pie for Xperia XZ1.
Update on 23/10/2018 :
At last, Sony released the official schedule of the Pie rollout for Xperia XZ flagships and XA midrangers. The Japanese tech giant announced that XZ1, XZ1 Compact devices will receive the update from October 26th. As the rollouts take place in phases, some XZ1 users may have to wait a few weeks to taste a slice of sweet Pie. Most likely, in Europe and Japan, Sony may begin the rollout on October 26th. In the first week of November, the rollout may begin for the unlocked variants of XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. We will keep posting here if there are any new developments or changes in the Pie rollout.
Update on 27/11/2018 :
Sony has begun the rollout of Android 9 Pie for Xperia XZ Premium and XZ1 flagships. The Japanese tech giant begins the rollout about a week ago and the rollout still taking place in stages. So some XZ1 users may have to wait more time to get the update.
The version number of the update is 47.2.A.0.306 and it comes with October’s Security patch. Most likely, the update got delayed due to fixing of some bug which could explain the obsolete security patch. The update contains most of the features of stock android and Sony exclusives like updated Camera UI, Full HD 960p slow-motion video recording, HDR video image enhancement and so on. However, the update didn’t bring the new gesture navigation system, albeit the Xperia XZ2 got it. We are not sure at this moment whether Sony is planning to rollout the new navigation system with another update or not.
We will update this post soon with more details about the Android Pie update for Xperia XZ1 soon.