The Galaxy S9 Android Pie update is on its way due to the newness of Samsung’s latest Galaxy S phone (released earlier this year). Phones that share the same arrival year as new updates are guaranteed them in Android. In this case, the Galaxy S9 is no different from any other flagship and Android system update. The Korean giant is testing Android Pie on the Galaxy S9, as recent GFXBench benchmarks reveal.
And yet, we know that some of you want to know what the update offers before it lands on your Galaxy S9. The curiosity is understandable. And so, we want to prevent you from having update anxiety by giving you a first look into the upcoming Galaxy S9 Android Pie update. Keep in mind that Samsung will release Android Pie for its users with its own “skin,” Samsung Experience 10.0 UI along for the ride. The changes below then, will reflect what you can expect from both the Android system and Samsung’s own unique UI changes.
Without further ado, here goes.
Galaxy S9 Android Pie update brings rounded corners on information cards
We realize that this first change isn’t going to revolutionize your life, but here goes. Samsung is preparing to make changes in the Galaxy S9 Android Pie update that will resemble Google’s vanilla Android look more than in the past. This means that the information cards that appear on your lock screen (notifications) will now have rounded corners instead of square ones.
Again, I told you this wouldn’t revolutionize your life, but it is an aesthetic change that gives the information cards a little bit of life. It’s nothing to salivate over, but vanilla Android fans will embrace any Samsung changes that mimic Google. Any.
Huge screen spacing and content shift
Huge screen spacing is another aesthetic look that changes from the days of old. Formerly, huge screen spacing was a bad thing, or “taboo,” but the new Galaxy S9 Android Pie update will showcase lots of space at the top of the phone screen. This means that, for example, your Bixby AI screen will say, “Hi, ____!” (insert your name here) and do so with lots of space around it; the information and data you seek will be beneath your name. This aesthetic change has a utilitarian purpose: it’s designed to provide more information right where users want it so that they need not search for it. If users are engaging more of the middle of the screen, then that’s where the content should be.
Galaxy S9 Android Pie update brings changes to the Galaxy S9 dialer
The Galaxy S9 dialer is due a refresh or transformation in the upcoming Android Pie release. If you look at the dialer UI for the Galaxy S9 (even the Galaxy Note 9), you’ll notice a few things. First, the dialer app is white. Second, there is a search bar at the top with the “recents,” “contacts,” and “places” beneath it (though still at the top). The numbers and dialer itself are all at the bottom. Functions at the top and bottom simultaneously create a very disjointed user experience. Well, Samsung intends to fix this with the new dialer in the Galaxy S9 Android Pie update.
The new dialer sits in the same place, but the functions (recents, contacts, etc.) are all at the bottom beneath the numbers. This means that now, you need only look at the bottom of your dialer app to access functions.
The search engine bar is still at the top, but this could move to the bottom of the dialer app as well in the official Android Pie release. Google’s Pie update for the Pixel and Pixel XL show the search engine bar at the bottom where the new phone functions sit in the Galaxy S9 Android Pie update. And yet, little space remains for the search bar there with Samsung’s planned update — so, Samsung users may have to remember to reach up to search until an iterative Pie update arrives.
Longer Drop-Down Notification Window
The Galaxy S9 has the typical, expected notification window that also houses the phone settings. Pull down on it twice and your settings are revealed. Well, Samsung intends to follow Google with the Galaxy S9 Android Pie update, as it will bring an even longer drop-down notification window.
Earlier, I said that Samsung will leave large amounts of space at the header of every screen; well, that will hold true, especially in the notification window. When you pull down the notification window completely, you’ll see the time, day of the week, and the numeric day (Friday, September 20th, for example), surrounding by space. Beneath that, you’ll see the settings and brightness slider that Samsung users know and love. Think of the notification “window” as more of a “page” now.
The upcoming Galaxy S9 Android Pie update will bring one feature all Samsung users have been waiting for: a dark theme for Samsung Experience 10.0. That’s right: instead of having to employ a dark theme, or select the “night mode” in the Samsung web browser to enjoy a future hope, users will now get a “Night Mode” across Samsung’s entire UI. The dialer, the drop-down notification page, and even the Settings will all employ the new UI Night Mode. This includes notifications (yes, dark notifications will be a “thing” with the new update).
And yet, the new UI Night Mode is not without its compromises. While Samsung will employ a Dark Theme across its content and screens, you’ll still have to battle some “white patches” across content. For example, rather than employ a dark settings them and use white wording, Samsung has decided to keep the black wording but add white “bubbles” around content and information. The expected 100% Night Mode is probably more of an 85/15% setup — but hey, it’s still a Night Mode, right?
The Galaxy S9 Android Pie update looks to be pretty sweet, even though there are few major changes to speak of. And yet, what we have here from XDA is an early build of the update; there could be more changes to come, but these will surface over time. You can see all these changes (and the even more minute ones) in the XDA video below.
What do you think of the update so far, from the video below? Hate it, love it, or just don’t know what to feel yet?