The expected release of Android Pie continues to elicit a lot of excitement. That’s because it would be the most advanced OS from Google to date. And like most people, we were too eager to wait for an OTA update. So, in a previous post, we tried out an unofficial port of Android 9 Pie GSI on Xiaomi Mi A1.
Some things in that port worked fine, while others didn’t. Stuff like VoLTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth–for example–are working okay. But, excessive battery drain remains a problem. And the way OK Google functions is choppy at best.
Still, the Android 9 Pie GSI installation offered improvements that impressed us.
New Android 9 Pie Features
You’d have to install the Android 9 port first to understand why we love it so much. All the same, here are the enhancements that we couldn’t get enough of.
The messaging experience is way better on the Android Pie than on previous releases. The most notable feature is the use of avatars. Messages now include both the name and picture of the sender. And notifications can even display thumbnails of attached images from the message body.
If you’re a coder, these are the methods that now help you exploit the new messaging features listed above.
Create a sender with an avatar:
Person sender = new Person()
Create a message notification that includes an image:
Message message = new Message("Picture", time, sender)
Lockable Rotation Modes
I know you’ll love this one: you can now set the rotation to not change. Say you’re viewing something on your display and you’ve rotated it to landscape mode. In previous OSes, that would change back to portrait mode when you turned the display again. And that was quite irksome if the change in orientation was unintentional.
But thanks to Android Pie, we now have a button that pins the orientation to the mode you’re using at any given moment.
Enhanced Battery Usage
The Mi A1 used to disappoint us with the way it squandered its battery charge. Thus, it forced us to look for ways to deal with its wakelocks, for example, in an attempt to remedy the problem.
The good thing with the Android 9 Pie GSI port is that it handles battery usage out of the box.
Its Adaptive Battery feature extends battery life by limiting errant, background apps. Using app standby buckets, it allows the active apps to work without interruption. But the idle ones face restrictions, which reduces their battery usage.
Brightness that Adapts to Ambient Lighting
It seems the Android Pie release seeks to solve all the problems the Mi A1 suffers from. And the lack of proper brightness control was one of the most bothersome among these. See, it cascaded into issues like image retention and screen burn-in. But with the Adaptive Brightness feature on Android 9, these may well be a thing of the past.
The enhancement works so well because it learns your brightness preferences. It learns how you set levels and combines that with sensors’ data to try to match the ambient lighting. This means that a user may spend less time tinkering with the display. And this could save the display from premature deterioration.
Remember, if you followed the previous post on how to install Android 9 Pie GSI on Mi A1, these are the files you flashed:
Boot into TWRP recovery. For that, you should restart the phone by holding down the power and volume up buttons.
On the main TWRP screen press Advanced then Tissot Manager
TWRP will display a Disclaimer notice. Click Next after reading it.
On the Tissot Manager screen, press Repartition
The manager will present you with a Repartition for Treble notice. Select the option I wish to repartition this device after reading it. Then, press Repartition
The repartitioning may take a minute. Wait for it to finish then press Reboot TWRP.
Note: The repartitioning removes Treble support from your Mi A1–it “un-trebelizes” the phone.
Once TWRP restarts, press Reboot on the main screen.
Then press Bootloader on the Reboot screen
The device will switch to fastboot mode. Now, connect your Mi A1 to a computer.
Run MiFlash v7.4.25 as an administrator on the computer
Select the stock ROM by browsing to where you saved the firmware folder
Press refresh on the MiFlash tool. (Your Mi A1 should now show up on the flash tool.)
Select clean at the bottom of the flash tool’s screen if you want to remain with an unlocked bootloader. Otherwise, choose: clean all.
Press flash at the top of the flash tool’s screen to start the installation of the stock ROM
Wait for the flashing process to finish. Your phone will then reboot into stock ROM
Android Pie is Google’s most advanced mobile OS. And we got a chance to try out an Android 9 Pie GSI port on Xiaomi Mi A1. But, the installation had a few issues. So, in this post, I suggested a few tweaks. Using these, Android Pie should be usable smoothly.
Still, for those who would want to go back to stock ROM, I added a guide on how to do so. The process removes Treble support on the Mi A1 completely.
Well, I know this might have been a bit of lengthy post. But, I hope that you got some useful tips from it.
If you have any suggestions or need further help, don’t hesitate to share in the comments section.