The first Android Pie update has arrived for the OnePlus 6 smartphone via a new “open beta" you can download now.

So, if you own that phone, you can update right now, if you don't mind being a beta tester. The software will likely have some bugs, and there should be many subsequent updates before OnePlus moves Pie to stable. One reason you might want to try it anyway is the update brings the new Android 9.0 Pie UI and gesture navigation.

How to install Android Pie open beta

While it's not as simple as simply signing up to be a beta tester and waiting on an over-the-air update, the process isn't especially complicated. All you need is your OnePlus 6 and a PC. You can read on, or view the process in the video above to see the process in action and see the visual changes in Android Pie. 

The first step in installing the software is downloading the software update package onto your computer. Click the download link and wait for the Zip file to land in your Downloads folder. 

Now, plug in your OnePlus 6 into a free USB port on your PC and then make sure you've selected the file transfer mode. To do this, drop down the notification shade and find the notification that says something like "connected to USB for charging". You'll get a list of options in the pop-up window that appears next. Choose the "transfer files" option. 

On your desktop, open up your phone's storage and then copy and paste (or drag) the downloaded Zip file on to the phone's internal storage folder. Make sure you don't extract the Zip file, keep it in its compressed state. 

Once copied over to your phone, open your phone's Settings menu and find the System Updates setting. It'll tell you it's up to date, but ignore that and tap the settings cog in the top right hand corner and choose "Local Upgrade", then tap on the Zip file that should appear on the screen. 

On the pop-up window, select "Install now" and the software unpackages itself and installs on your phone. 

What's new?

The big story here is that this is Android Pie, so you get a lot of the same Android 9 features we've seen on Pixel phones already. That means you get the assistive battery feature for ensuring your apps don't use up too much of your precious fuel. Similarly you get the new rounded quick settings tiles in the drop-down menu, as well as the screenshot shortcut when you press and hold the power button.  

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of the new Pixel-like navigation. Head into Settings > Buttons & Gestures and you can choose the new "Back/Home" option from the navigation choices. This enables you to swipe up on the pill-shaped home button to launch the card-based recent apps interface, or swipe right on the button to quickly switch between apps. 

You also get accent colour customisation, Gaming Mode 3.0, and more Do Not Disturb settings. Similar to previous versions of OnePlus' Oxygen OS software, when you choose your UI theme you can choose a number of preset accent colour, but the new customisation option lets you create your own specifically desired hue. You can literally choose from thousands of colours and shades to really make the entire interface your own.

You can view the full Android Pie change-log from OnePlus' website.

For more about Android Pie, see:

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