Google has just announced the name of the latest version of Android, and it is beginning to roll out now. With that, Dave Burke, Android’s VP of Engineering, also announced that there were over 140,000 people that tried at least one of the Android 9 Pie‘s developer previews (which started back in March). That’s a pretty big number of users, and essentially beta testers, for the next version of Android.
This year, Google really expanded its beta program for Android P – now Android 9 Pie. Not only were there 140,000 people that tried the beta builds, but Google also expanded the beta program to more devices. In the past, Google had the beta version of Android available for Pixel and Nexus devices that would eventually get the update. However, this year, Google expanded this to seven of its manufacturer partners. This included Sony, Essential, Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus, Vivo and Nokia. This meant that more users had access to the beta, but it also meant that its partners would get access to the newest version of Android a bit sooner, and could (theoretically) roll out the update sooner than in the past. The Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21UD and X21, and Essential PH‑1 all got various Android P Beta’s over the summer.
Android 9 Pie brings a ton of other features to the table this time around, but it’s mostly a new paint job for many people. There’s some new Material Design features included here, as well as gesture-based navigation, new screenshot tools and much more. The update to Android 9 Pie is rolling out right now for Pixel and Android One devices. Manufacturers now have the code and are beginning to build its update for Android 9 Pie for its devices. It still may be a bit before non-Pixel and non-Android One smartphones get the update, however.