Use Feature Flags in Android Pie

Edited by Jay

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The release of Android 9 came with some exciting and fun new features, for those of you with devices supporting the Pie OS update. In addition to UI design improvements, and the new quick settings menu (among others), Android Pie gives users access to Feature Flags via developer settings.

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Feature flags are options that can be enabled or disabled that alter how the Device's operating system and apps function. Although Android introduced feature flags with Google Chrome, it wasn't until the release of Pie that the options expanded beyond the browser. The Feature flags accessible in Android 9 mostly change how the user interface appears.

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In the following VisiHow tutorial, we're going to show how to access and enable/disable feature flags found in developer options. For this article, we used a Google Pixel running Android 9.

**Please Note** Feature flags is a new and experimental set of options. Only users comfortable with having developer settings enabled should play around with these settings.

Enable Developer Options in Android Pie

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Before turning on or off Feature flags, you must first enable Developer options via the Settings app.

  1. 1
    On the home screen, swipe up to access your app drawer.
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  2. 2
    From your app drawer, tap Settings.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-02.png
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, tap System.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-03.png
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  4. 4
    From System, tap About phone.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-04.png
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  5. 5
    On About phone', tap the Build number seven times
    After the seventh tap, a message will briefly appear that reads: You are now a developer!.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-05.png
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Turn on Feature Flags

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With Developer options turned on, you can choose which feature flags remain enabled.

  1. 1
    From your home screen, swipe up to view your app drawer.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-06.png
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Inside your app drawer, tap the Settings icon.

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  1. 1
    On Settings, tap System.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-08.png
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  2. 2
    From System, tap Advanced.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-09.png
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  3. 3
    With the Advanced section expanded, tap Developer options.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-10.png
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  4. 4
    On the Developer options screen, tap Feature flags.
    NorthernTouch use-feature-flags-in-android-pie-11.png
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  5. 5
    There are seven options listed on the Feature flag screen.
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    1. settings_about_phone_v2: When enabled, the About phone section goes to the top of System. The information on the About phone screen will also appear in a different order.
    2. settings_bluetooth_while_driving: Turn this feature flag on , and the option Use Bluetooth when driving will display under Connected devices in your Bluetooth menu.
    3. settings_data_usage_v2: As of writing this, there isn't any specific information on this feature flag.
    4. settings_audio_switcher: As of writing this, this feature flag has no information about what it does.
    5. settings_systemui_theme: As of writing this, there is not enough information on this feature flag.
    6. settings_zone_picker_v2: When enabled, this feature flag displays more detailed information when using Automatic Timezone.
    7. settings_battery_display_app_list: Enable this feature flag to see a detailed list of apps and their battery usage since the last charge.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Use Android Pie | Use Google Pixel and Pixel XL

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