essential phone

Despite the rumors that a second phone is basically dead, Essential continues to put a lot of work into the PH-1. Today, fans hit the company’s latest Reddit Q&A with questions about the Essential Phone, and we’ve gathered together some of the most interesting details.

Notch Settings return to Android 9 Pie next month

The Essential Phone was the first device that wasn’t a Pixel to get Android 9 Pie, but it lost the company’s custom notch settings in the process. That was certainly a shame and users have been very vocal about wanting its return. Now, Essential can confirm that the PH-1’s October security update will bring those settings back.

We sure are! It’s in for our October security patch release and we’ll be working to get it out to you as quickly as possible. P.S. So much fun for PUBG (and I guess Fortnite, if they ever let me in the beta lol)

Essential commits to delivering Android Q

If there’s one thing Essential is crazy good at, it’s delivering software updates. The company has mentioned multiple times that the Essential Phone will get the same software update policy as Google’s Pixel phones – 2 years of major releases + 3 years of security updates. In today’s Q&A, the company confirmed it would be delivering Android Q for the PH-1 and reiterated its update policy.

We’ll provide platform updates for 2 years (until August 2019) and security updates for 3 years (until August 2020).

The Audio Adapter HD arrives ‘soon’

While the headphone jack is pretty much dead at this point, some users just don’t want to say goodbye. Many Essential Phone owners were excited at the arrival of the Audio Adapter HD module which delivering a high-quality DAC with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Now, Essential is confirming that the adapter is still on its way and that it’s currently going through the FCC. If all goes well, it could arrive within the next couple of months.

We can confirm that Audio Adapter HD is nearly ready for release. We’re in the final stages of certification with the FCC (we’ve been told this process takes approximately 6 weeks) and will share more information on release dates and pricing soon. The team has been working hard and we’re excited to deliver one of the best mobile audio experiences available.

essential phone audio adapter hd

A trade-in program

I absolutely love the Essential Phone and everything it stands for, so any news of a successor makes me incredibly happy. In today’s Q&A, a user asked that, if there is a PH-2, whether Essential would offer a trade-in program. It’s probably a stretch to consider the response of “we’ve discussed it” as a tease for a new device, a man can dream, no?

Thanks for the suggestion! It’s something we’ve definitely discussed.

Digital Wellbeing for the Essential Phone

One feature we were excited to finally try out in Android 9 Pie was Digital Wellbeing, but currently, it’s only available (officially) for the Pixel. Many are curious if the PH-1 will add the feature, but at the moment, Essential is “unsure,” but hopeful.

This is currently still only available to Pixel users in their beta. Unfortunately, I’m unsure if this will be opened up to non-Pixel phones. Personally, I really hope so.

No plans for Pie’s multi-camera APIs

Android 9 Pie packs native support for multiple cameras on a device, and the Essential Phone offers a dual-camera setup on its rear. Seems like a match made in heaven, no? Unfortunately, Essential doesn’t use these APIs in the current builds of Pie, and apparently, there are no plans to use those for now. That, of course, could change down the road though.

Android Pie is fairly new and we feel that it will have at least one maintenance release. We want to see how that shakes out. Meanwhile, we do not have any immediate plans to leverage Multi-Camera API Support in Android Pie.

essential phone android pie

How Essential delivered Android 9 Pie so fast

I’ve commended Essential countless times on its incredibly quick software support, but the timing of the Android 9 Pie update was just short of a miracle. The Essential Phone became the first phone ever to get a day one upgrade for such a major Android release, and that didn’t go unnoticed. There are a lot of moving pieces to an update, but Essential has shared a few key details to the process today.

First off Google does a staged rollout of all of their software and app updates. That should explain why you received your update before your friend.

Normally we will receive final code updates 2-3 weeks before we can push an OTA. We have an incredible engineering team who is able to implement those patches quickly and will normally have 2 weeks to test out the build. We’ll push it out to our internal employees and have them live on the build before we’re comfortable pushing it out to all of you.

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Ben Schoon

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