Shortly following the official announcement of Android 9 Pie, Google unveiled the official statue meant to celebrate the launch of the next major iteration of its mobile operating system. While the company has yet to confirm that, the statue of the Bugdroid mascot seen above has likely been created by Giovanni Calabrese, also known as Themendous, a veteran artist responsible for every official Android sculpture installed at Google’s Mountain View campus to date. This year’s statue doesn’t come with a companion like the one commemorating the launch of Android 8.0 Oreo did in the summer of 2017 but is otherwise in line with Mr. Calabrese’s previous work, having been designed to be evocative of the playfulness Google pursued with its original Android branding.
Android 9 Pie is the first iteration of the world’s most popular OS to drop a decimal place from its version number, in addition to being the first Android build that Google actually wants you to use less. The latter ambition is meant to be accomplished through the company’s new Digital Wellbeing initiative that will debut on Android 9 Pie devices this fall in the form of several apps, tools, and features meant to help users gain insights into their smartphone usage and control it with the goal of finding a better balance between their handset use and real life should they deem doing so necessary.
Android 9 Pie is already rolling out to the first two generations of the Pixel devices, as well as the Essential PH-1, whereas other handsets from manufacturers such as Sony, HTC, HMD Global (Nokia), and OnePlus are set to follow in the coming weeks. The new OS edition ships with the August security patch and a wide variety of tweaks and additions designed to make smartphones and tablets smarter and more responsive to a broad range of dynamically changing user needs with the help of machine learning and general artificial intelligence applications.