The Android Pie (or P as it was previously known) beta has been available for a while now and a full release is imminent (though more imminent for some devices than others).
The new OS, named Android 9.0 Pie, will support display notches and give developers more freedom to harness dual cameras. There’s also improved ability to interact with messages from notifications and access to indoor positioning tech.
However, the biggest update revolves around the homescreen. You can find all the details in our Android Pie: Everything you need to know piece, but the short of it is that there are now plenty of gestures to help you navigate, plus a new section for keeping an eye on how much you use the phone.
How to get Android Pie right now
Android 9 Pie came out of beta on August 6th 2018, and if you have the Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel XL or indeed any other Pixel phone, you shouldn’t need to do anything to get your hands on it – just keep an eye out for that update notification.
If you’re on tenterhooks though, keep nipping into your settings menu and checking for system updates manually.
This isn’t the completely finished version of Android Pie, by the way, though presumably, it is stable enough for general consumption. Google is holding back the Digital Wellbeing features, as well as the ‘slices’ function.
For those and future updates, Google has a beta program − you can find out how to sign up for that further down the page − which offers early access to both developers and the public, but it’s fair to say this version isn’t intended for daily or consumer use. We’d advise that you install it on a secondary device.
Other handsets from the beta will follow suit by the end of autumn. However, if you’re a highly curious tinkerer with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, you can download and install Android Pie today.
Android Beta Program
The easiest way to install and stay updated with the latest version of Android Pie is to enrol in the Android Beta Program. This is currently available for the range of Pixel devices, but further devices will be joining the list soon.
Here’s how to get set up:
- First you’ll need to follow this link – Join the Android Beta Program – and sign in with the Google account you run on your phone.
- Scroll down and find the device you own and tap the ‘Opt-in’ button.
- Give it a few minutes and a prompt should appear in the notification panel. Tap this and it will begin to download and install.
There are other devices that support the beta too, including the OnePlus 6 and Sony Xperia XZ2. Each of these require a slightly different approach to the installation.
How to downgrade from Android Pie to Android Oreo
Once you’ve installed Android P on your device, it is possible to roll everything back if you’re not finding the software stable enough. Although simple, you’ll have to completely wipe the device – so remember to back up.
- From the Android Beta Portal page, there should now be an ‘Opt-out’ option that has replaced the ‘Opt-in’
- Click this and another OTA download should appear, rolling you back to the latest version of Android Oreo.