It’s time for a new slice of Android… Pie. That’s right, the ninth version of Android has an official name and that means it’s ready to install on a few phones lucky enough to support it on day one.
Thanks to Project Treble, several phones already have beta versions of Android 9 in the wild, so it could be weeks, not months, before it starts showing up on more phones. But no matter how long it takes, it should be worth the wait. Pie introduces enough new features to make any Oreo user envious, so even if it hasn’t dropped on your phone yet, you’ll want to learn all about what’s in store for the ninth major version of Android:
The number of handsets that are able to install Android Pie on day one is smaller than ever now that the Nexus phones have dropped off the list:
Pixel 2 XL
Thanks to Android One and Project Treble in Oreo, more phones than ever are taking advantage of the easier upgrade path. Many manufacturers have already pushed out Android Pie betas, so if you have one of these phones, you should be next in line to get a piece of Pie:
Nokia 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ2
Oppo R15 Pro
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
So how do you get Pie on a Pixel?
Once it’s available for your device (which could be today or tomorrow depending on your carrier and model), you’ll get a notification telling you that the Android 9 update is available. Select it, press the install button, and restart when prompted to give it a try.
If you don’t want to wait for the easy over-the-air delivery, you can also download the factory image to your PC and install it on your phone manually. It’s a little more difficult and requires a working knowledge of the command line on your Mac or PC, but it’s the only way to be sure that you’ll be among the first to have it on your phone.
How can you get Android Pie without a Pixel?
If you have an Essential Phone, you can get it right now. Just head over to System update in the System settings and select Check for update. The Android 9 update will appear and you can download and install it today.
For the other phones on the list, you can either wait until the manufacturer pushes the official version to the public, or you can download the appropriate beta system images onto your PC and manually flash Android P onto your phone. It’s not for the faint of heart and you’ll be writing over very important system files, so you should definitely make sure you have a backup of your phone’s important data first. But if you choose that process, you’ll be well acquainted with Android Pie by the time the official public version arrives. Just be warned: Since these are still betas, some apps and features might not work so well (or at all).
However, if you want to start from scratch, you can always perform a factory restore by going to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options >Erase all data (factory reset). Then you’ll be sure to get the best possible performance out of Android Pie.