Okay — one of two things is likely going on here. Time to troubleshoot: First, long-press on an open space in your home screen. Select “Home settings,” then “Suggestions.” Look specifically at the third toggle on the screen that appears: “Overview selection.” Is that turned off? If so, that’s probably your problem. Turn that toggle on and then see if things are working.
If that doesn’t do the trick, head into the System section of your system settings, tap “Languages &; input,” and look at the very first line on the screen: “Languages.” Is your language set to anything other than “English (United States)”? If so, that’s quite possibly the source of the issue. For reasons I don’t fully understand, Google seems to have limited this feature to U.S. English only (maybe something to do with the software’s ability to detect specific types of text?).
Just for giggles, try switching your language to “English (United States)” and then see if you can select text from your Overview. If so, there’s your answer. Now you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with keeping that as your language until Google expands the feature further or if it isn’t worth the tradeoff.
Problem 2: I can’t find the command for split-screen mode
Ah, yes: Android’s split-screen feature moved to a new home in Pie, largely as a result of the updated navigation system. First, go into your Overview (either by pressing the square-shaped Overview key or by swiping up once on the Home button, if you’re using gesture nav). Now, see those icons at the top of each app preview? Tap one of ’em, and a menu will pop up with “Split screen” as an option.
Select that, then select your second app in the lower-half window that appears, and there you have it: You’re back in business and ready to multitask away.
Problem 3: It takes too many steps to activate split-screen mode now
I’ve heard this complaint from more than a few frequent split-screen users — and unfortunately, there’s no great solution built into Android itself.
But wait! There are some third-party apps that can fill the void and make it meaningfully easier for you to activate Android’s split-screen function.
Specifically, I’d suggest looking at either Edge Gestures ($2), which’ll allow you to create any gesture you want to initiate split-screen mode — from anywhere on your device — or Split-Screen Creator (free with optional $0.99 in-app upgrade), a handy tool. It’ll let you create any number of one-touch shortcuts for instantly launching specific split-screen instances — Gmail and Chrome, Docs and Calculator, or whatever app pairings you want — directly from your home screen.
Problem 4: I can’t find the command for app-pinning
Right — it’s moved as well: Open up your Overview and tap the icon atop any app preview to find it. (It’s in the same menu as the split screen command we were just talking about a minute ago.) If you don’t see “Pin” in that menu, go into the Security section of your system settings, tap “Advanced,” and look for the “Screen pinning” option. You probably just have the feature disabled there.
Problem 5: The new gesture navigation stuff isn’t showing up for me
Most manufacturers seem to be shipping Android 9 with the new gesture nav system off by default (which, if you ask me, is probably a good thing ). You can turn gesture nav on by going into the System section of your system settings, selecting “Gestures,” then tapping the “Swipe up on Home button” option and flipping its toggle on.
Problem 6: I have the new gesture navigation system and hate it
No biggie: Just follow the same steps described in the last item but turn the toggle off instead of on.
Problem 7: Android 9’s new smart screen rotation isn’t showing up on my phone
This is another new feature that seems to be disabled by default, at least on the devices that have gotten the Pie upgrade so far — so it’s up to you to find it and activate it if you want to give it a go. To do so, prance on over to the Display section of your system settings, tap “Advanced,” and then tap the line labeled “Auto-rotate screen.” Make sure you’ve turned the toggle next to it off.
Now just rotate your phone horizontally and look for the new rotation icon next to the Home button, in the main system navigation bar.
Problem 8: I have the new smart screen rotation but want to go back to the old way
Fair enough: Just do the same thing described in item 7 but turn the “Auto-rotate screen” toggle on. That’ll enable the traditional auto-rotate mode and do away with the manual rotation button.
Problem 9: I miss the old shortcut for fast-snapping between apps
I hear you. Try this as an alternative. I’m a huge fan of Android’s fast-snapping shortcut, and I’ve found that to be a super-handy supplement to the new system-level method.
Problem 10: I read about Pie’s new adaptive brightness feature but can’t tell if it’s active on my phone
It’s quite possible it just hasn’t been flipped on for you. (Sensing a pattern here yet?) Go back to the Display section of your system settings and tap the line labeled “Adaptive brightness.” Make sure the toggle on the screen that shows up next is active, then give the system a few days to start learning your preferences and working its magic.