Artificial intelligence (AI) was certainly the main focus of this year’s Google I/O, reflecting the company’s significant investment in the area over the years. With new features like Live Translate and enhancements to existing features like Smart Reply, Google’s focus on AI is undeniable.
But what you may not know is that Android System Intelligence is the secret behind all of this. In simple words, Android System Intelligence is service that powers intelligent features across Android devices. According to Google:
Android System Intelligence is a system component within Private Compute Core that powers intelligent features across Android while keeping your data private.
Table of Contents:
How does it work?
Android System Intelligence leverages sophisticated machine learning algorithms to analyze your usage patterns and preferences. This analysis allows Android to provide you with highly relevant and personalized user experiences.
Importantly, it uses a method called “federated learning” to train its machine learning models on your device without transmitting your data to Google. This privacy-preserving approach ensures your data stays on your device, while the system can still understand your usage patterns and preferences.
Where is it used?
Android System Intelligence serves as the key driver behind many popular Android (including Pixel-exclusive) features. Some of these features, accompanied by their respective scenarios, are detailed below (in no particular order):
- Live Caption
- Google Translate
- Smart Reply
- Now Playing
- Smart Auto-rotate
- App Suggestions (Launcher)
First off, let’s start off with Live Caption. If you’re watching a video or listening to something in a noisy environment, Live Caption can automatically generate captions so you can always understand what’s being said. Live Caption works universally across your phone and doesn’t rely on caption data provided by apps or services.
Let’s say you’re watching a TV show, or a movie that at a time, or place where you just couldn’t turn the volume up. Courtesy of Android System Intelligence, you won’t have to search for specific captions, simply turn on Live Caption, and your phone will automatically generate captions for the audio. This means you can still follow along with the video, even if you don’t understand the language.
Next up is Google Translate. If you’re traveling to, or reside in a foreign country, this feature can help you communicate with people who speak a different language. Just point your phone at the text you want to translate, and it will instantly show you the translation in real time.
Moving forward is another feature that’s now incredibly popular among Android users, and that’s Smart Reply. Let’s say you received a message, and you don’t feel like opening the app to text back.
With Smart Reply, your phone will suggest relevant replies to your messages, so you can save time and effort. For example, if you’re texting a friend to tell them you’ll be late, Smart Reply might suggest a reply like “Sure, no problem.”
Another really interesting feature on Pixel devices is Now Playing. If you’re listening to music in public and you don’t know the name of the song, this feature can identify it for you. Just hold your phone up to the music, and Now Playing will show you the name of the song, the artist, and the album.
Next up, another feature that utilizes Android System Intelligence is the new Auto-rotate system. If you’re watching a video or reading a book, Smart Auto-rotate will automatically rotate your screen depending on how you’re looking at your device, using data from the phone’s front camera, instead of just the accelerometers.
If you’ve ever used a Pixel device, you may be aware of App Suggestions that utilizes Android System Intelligence, which can suggest apps that you might want to use based on your recent activity. This way, you can quickly open the apps that you use the most without having to search for them.
Should you remove Android System Intelligence?
There are a few reasons why people might think of removing Android System Intelligence. With everything mentioned above, privacy becomes a major concern. While it uses federated learning to train itself, Android System Intelligence does collect some data about your device usage, and this data could be used to track you or target you with ads.
Another reason why people might think of removing Android System Intelligence is because they are concerned about battery life. Android System Intelligence can be a battery hog, so uninstalling it could help to improve your battery life.
However, it is important to note that the benefits of Android System Intelligence outweigh the risks. If you are concerned about privacy, you can disable Android System Intelligence without uninstalling it. This will prevent Android from collecting data about your device usage, but it will also prevent you from using the features that are powered by Android System Intelligence.
Why Removing It Might Not Be Ideal
As mentioned previously, Android System Intelligence is a core component of the Android operating system. It is used to power a number of features, and if you remove Android System Intelligence, you will lose the ability to use all of these features.
These features form the ‘core’ of your Android experience and distinguish new devices from older ones. Ironically, removing Android System Intelligence could result in increased battery usage as your system wouldn’t be able to optimize battery usage based on your habits.
In addition, Android System Intelligence helps improve the security of your Android device. It does this by learning about your habits and preferences, and using them in a way that it can better protect your device from malware and other threats.
Updating Android System Intelligence
Android System Intelligence is updated automatically through the Google Play Store. To manually check for updates, open the Play Store > tap on the Profile icon in the top right corner > tap on Manage apps & devices > select Manage.
If there is an update available for Android System Intelligence, it will be listed here. Tap on Update to install the update. If, for some reason, Play Store does not automatically update Android System Intelligence, you can manually update it from APKMirror or any other reputable APK site.
Since Android System Intelligence powers all the ‘intelligent’ parts of your system, it is absolutely a bad idea to tinker with it unless you need to do so for a specific reason,. Other than that, if you’re having any issues with the service above, uninstall updates for the app, and Google will automatically update it itself.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out our comprehensive breakdown of another core Android component that people often mistake for bloatware: Android System Webview.