Google’s December security patch includes much-needed memory fix

Every first Monday of the month, we’re used to seeing Google launch security patches for its supported devices. This month is no different, as Google has released the December 2018 security patch.
The patch not only fixes a bunch of security bugs, but also features the long awaited memory performance fixes. Android Pie has long been killing apps in the background (even if you were using them a second ago) and it’s even affected devices other than Pixel/Nexus devices and we hope this fix will help. There are also some camera fixes for Pixel users included as well.
Surprisingly, we’re seeing the updates hit the Nexus 5X and 6P, both of which have reached their end of life. It’s good to see Google support these old devices even when their three years are up and the company has no obligation to update them.

December’s software release is here. Check your Essential Phone for the update.
— Essential (@essential) December 3, 2018

Essential is once again releasing its security update on the same day as Google, having not missed a single security update in recent memory. Hopefully this also includes the memory fixes, as the device was affected by poor RAM management issues once it was updated to Android Pie.
If you want to download the Pixel factory images or OTA files, hit the links. Otherwise, you may need to wait for the update to hit your phone!
Via: Android Authority

HTC jumps in with its first Android Pie update

Android Pie has been available for a few months now, but HTC only now jumping in with its first update. The HTC U11 Life is the first device in the company’s lineup to receive the Android Pie update, though HTC has promised to deliver the new version of Android to the HTC U11, HTC U11+, HTC U12+ and the HTC U12 life.
While we’re excited to see begin its Android Pie rollout to older devices, we don’t expect the update for the HTC U11 and the HTC U12+ are right around the corner. The update that’s currently rolling out is for the Android One version of the HTC U11 life which runs on stock Android with a few minor tweaks. The HTC Sense variant of the HTC U11 life will likely not receive its Android Pie update for a few more months and the US model sold by T-Mobile will likely get its update even later than that.
Project Treble falls short, leaving Android more fragmented than ever
HTC hasn’t given any indication as to when the HTC U12+ will receive its Android Pie update. The company has typically released Android updates for its flagship devices in mid-Q4, but it looks like we may be waiting until early 2019 before the HTC U12+ and last year’s HTC U11 will be getting a taste of the latest version of Android.

Android Pie is now rolling out to the Motorola One and One Power globally

Lenovo announced two new Android One devices in late August 2018: the Motorola One and One Power. The budget smartphones marked the Motorola brand’s first Android One handsets outside of the US-only version of the Moto X4. Both are fairly middle-of-the-road Android devices when it comes to hardware, but software support is the real selling point, with promised updates to both Android Pie and Q, along with three years of security patches. Read MoreAndroid Pie is now rolling out to the Motorola One and One Power globally was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite gets Android 9 Pie update

After rolling out Android 9 Pie to the Mi A2 a couple of weeks ago, Xiaomi is now following up with the same update for its cheaper sibling, the Mi A2 Lite. The OTA for the stable release is starting to show up for users around the world, only two weeks after Xiaomi began testing it in beta.

According to our tipster, the new Pie update for the Mi A2 Lite brings gesture navigation like we’ve seen on the Pixel line-up, adaptive battery and brightness, App Actions and Slices integration in the launcher, all the privacy-centric features of Pie such as restricting access to the mic and camera for idle apps, and more. Read MoreXiaomi Mi A2 Lite gets Android 9 Pie update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Project Treble falls flat on its face, leaving Android more fragmented than ever

When Project Treble was announced at Google I/O in 2017, there was a lot of excitement about the fact that Google was making the update process a lot easier for manufacturers. With Project Treble, Google would be separating the low-level software drivers for the phone’s hardware from the operating system so that manufacturers only had to worry about updating their customizations on top of Android itself rather than rebuilding the entire stack from the ground up. 

In a perfect world, Project Treble should have reduced development time by several weeks or even a month, but that hasn’t been the case. While you might recall that Essential was first out of the gate with Android Pie updates back in August, followed by the OnePlus 6 update in late September. Since then, Sony and Nokia have released Android Pie updates to several of their phones, but that’s basically it. {
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After three months, Android Pie doesn’t even have a spot on Google’s official Android distribution chart which means that Google’s latest version of Android isn’t yet running on 1% of devices. To be fair, Google is tracking more than 2 billion active Android devices, more than 20 million Android smartphones and tablets would need to be updated to Android Pie before the new version of the OS makes its appearance on the Android distribution chart.

So what’s the issue? Did oversell Project Treble? 
From what we’ve seen, Project Treble works as advertised. Essential and OnePlus were able to take advantage of Project Treble to release quick updates for several of their devices. That being said, the other updates we’ve seen have trickled out at roughly the same pace as we’ve seen in previous years. Even though manufacturers no longer have to worry about rebuilding the low-level software drivers for their devices, rebuilding a custom interface on top of a new version of Android is still a cumbersome and tedious task.
In Samsung’s case, the company just announced that it will be rolling out its Android Pie update in January of 2019. The reason for the long delay is because Samsung is completely retooling the operating system with a new design language dubbed One UI. To put things simply, Samsung is rebuilding all of its apps to make them more user-friendly. They’ll be using Android Pie as the foundation, but in typical Samsung fashion, they’ll be tweaking every aspect of Android so that it has that unique Samsung look and feel.

That’s the real problem. Android manufacturers are still more interested in their own Android customizations than they are with delivering timely updates to their customers. Project Treble might make it easier for Android updates to be released on devices with near-stock Android builds, but it seems to have little or no impact on the manufacturers which control the vast majority of the market.
Maybe manufacturers can turn things around in 2019 as they before more accustomed to Project Treble, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Telegram X adds support for Android Pie, new languages, and more

Back in January, secure messaging app Telegram acquired an alternative client based on its own database library. Since then, it’s rebranded the app from Challegram to Telegram X, and made it a testing ground for experimental features. An extremely fruitful testing ground. This new October update is no different from its feature-packed predecessors, delivering a ton of changes. Among the most interesting additions: the introduction of new supported languages and Android Pie features. Read MoreTelegram X adds support for Android Pie, new languages, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Huawei's EMUI 9.0 promises more AI, better performance, and new gestures

Huawei’s EMUI Android skin used to be a real mess, but it’s gotten much better over the last few years. EMUI 9 is the latest version, which Huawei pre-announced a few months ago. Now, we have all the details, and it’s shipping on the Mate 20.EMUI 9.0 is based on Android 9 Pie, so some of the new features won’t be a surprise. Others are pure Huawei.

Huawei has several suspiciously precise measurements of average performance increases. Read MoreHuawei’s EMUI 9.0 promises more AI, better performance, and new gestures was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Nokia 7 Plus becomes the first non-Pixel with Android Pie's Digital Wellbeing features

Google unveiled Digital Wellbeing at I/O this year and strongly implied it would be part of Android Pie. However, the feature only launched on Pixel devices as a beta at first. Now, Digital Wellbeing has expanded to its first non-Pixel phone—the Nokia 7 Plus.

I know what you’re thinking. The Nokia 7 Plus doesn’t even have a final Pie build yet. That’s true, but Google has still opened up the Play Store listing to Nokia’s phone. Read MoreNokia 7 Plus becomes the first non-Pixel with Android Pie’s Digital Wellbeing features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.