In a lot of little ways, Android Pie is a striking update to Android, visually speaking. Everything seems a little friendlier, with softer edges and bright colors taking center stage. Even the animations appear a little more friendly.
What stood out most, immediately, was the subtle updates to the resting home screen: Now, instead of just displaying time and date in the middle, it also has a tiny weather bug. Additionally, the phone's battery percentage is pushed to the bottom. The changes sound small, right? They're totally small — agreed.
They're also tremendously useful!
That seems to be the theme of Android Pie thus far: Small, nice changes that improve the general experience of using Android phones (so-called "quality of life" changes). Nothing major, though.
I have one major gripe: The new way to switch between apps is an unfortunate change.
Where before, all your open apps would appear in a stack when you try to switch between them, they're now displayed on a carousel. It requires a more dramatic swipe upwards to close an app, and it's impossible to see everything you've got open at once. I've found it more difficult to use and, thus, less useful overall. That's tremendously unfortunate given how integral the app switching function is to Android.