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Could Pie the AI be a smartphone game changer?

Android has introduced a new AI feature to their Pixel phones. It is called Pie, and has some new and exciting features which could change the whole smartphone game. 

Pie isn’t garish and over the top about its new updates; they are designed exclusively to make the phone more usable and effective, rather than providing pointless flashy features. For example, it uses adaptive brightness and adaptive battery, which tap into Google’s deep mind systems. Adaptive brightness learns which brightness settings a phone user prefers in certain settings, and automatically changes its brightness in accordance with its surroundings. Adaptive battery works in a similar way, by learning a person’s phone usage patterns, and adjusting its power usage in accordance.

This has been proven to be very effective – users of the Android Pie beta program on Google Pixel found a 20% increase in battery life overall. With battery life being such a large concern amongst smartphone users, this implementation of AI could prove to be a gamechanger. It is also able to be used without adding any additional hardware to the phone, which has not been achieved before.

Another notable difference is in the navigation; the three buttons at the bottom of the phone are gone, and have been replaced with a pill shaped button which allows the user to access everything. Swiping up on the pill enables you to see all the apps which are open and move through them as fast as you need.

Pie learns to suggest certain actions at certain times, based on the user’s action history. For example, if you are nearing London Bridge station it suggests opening a live departure times board online, or if you usually call your partner around lunchtime every day, it will suggest this to you before you do it, without you having to set any reminders.

The biggest new addition to Pie isn't included in the current Pie download, however. Google's suite of Digital Wellbeing tools, which have been included to raise awareness of how long you're using your phone, are available as a separate beta. These are coming later in the year as another download, so we will be waiting for a while but from the sounds of things, this wait will be well worth it! The wellbeing feature allows you to break down how much time you spend on your phone each day, and which apps are used the most.

While we will be waiting a while for the complete version, Android Pie is already looking promising, having proven itself an effective way to save power and reduce unnecessary phone usage. We definitely seem to be heading towards a system where smart phones are even smarter.

Posted on 15 August 2018