Google Pixel

Pixel 2 finally gets Live Caption, sideloading required

Pixel 2 finally gets Live Caption, sideloading required

The Pixel 4 may have been a dud rather than a bang when it came to hardware but, as with other Pixels before it, Google has more or less made up for it in terms of software. In addition to the usual AI-based camera tricks, the Pixel 4 flaunted a few features that, technically speaking, is part of the general Android 10 release. That includes Live Captions, which is now available on all Pixel phones except, of course, the now unsupported OG Pixel.

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Small tweaks we wish these smartphone brands would make

Small tweaks we wish these smartphone brands would make

Do you ever look at someone else’s phone and wish you had just that one feature that would make your phone perfect? We all want the flawless device, but many manufacturers insist on certain designs and features that put it shy of perfection. A phone may have the best camera in the business but have an atrocious camera arrangement; another phone could have max-ed out specs but miss out on sturdy materials to protect it.

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Pixel 4a renders reveal a mix of old and new designs

Pixel 4a renders reveal a mix of old and new designs

While the Pixel 4 launched with impressive new features that, at least for a while, remain exclusive to Google's 2019 flagship, there is still some argument whether the phone in itself is truly worth its price. Coincidentally, that was the very same question that the Pixel 3 faced last year which was indirectly answered by the Pixel 3a in May. Given the success of that mid-tier phone, there is a strong expectation that there will be a Pixel 4a in a few months as well but the unofficial renders of the device depict something like a Frankenstein of smartphone designs.

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Google Recorder unofficially available for other phones except Xiaomi

Google Recorder unofficially available for other phones except Xiaomi

It's almost amusing to see so much interest form around an audio recording app but that's pretty much what's happening with the Google Recorder. Originally exclusive to the Pixel 4 and then to all Pixels except the very first, the app has generated quite a good amount of fanfare because of its transcription capabilities. Now some of that goodness is being made available, unofficially of course, to many Android phones running the latest versions of the OS, unless your phone happens to be using Xiaomi's MIUI.

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Pixel 4 Feature Drop updates Google didn’t talk about

Pixel 4 Feature Drop updates Google didn’t talk about

It seems that Google may be taking a rather strange route when it comes to rolling out and announcing updates for its Pixel phones. It started way back when it issued separate security bulletins for Pixel phones and all other Android devices in general. Now it seems to be delaying feature updates for its own phones in order to maximize media coverage with the first-ever Pixel Feature Drop earlier this month. Apparently, it didn't even publicize every major feature as well.

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Google spills the Pixel 4’s camera magic

Google spills the Pixel 4’s camera magic

Google's Pixel 4 may have added the second camera it long avoided, but a deep-dive into Portrait Mode shows it's not slowing up on computational photography. Earlier versions of the Pixel relied on post-processing trickery to coax a faux-bokeh shot from a single lens, where rivals used the double-data from two adjacent sensors.

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Pixel 4 audio performance is good but still needs work according to DxOMark

Pixel 4 audio performance is good but still needs work according to DxOMark

Thanks to the surprising success of the first-ever Pixel, a lot of attention has been paid to the camera capabilities of Google's smartphones. This year, however, at least two of the Pixel 4's best features don't have anything to do with cameras at all. Live Transcribe and Live Caption, not to mention the shiny new Recording app, all play up to the phone's audio capabilities. And almost by fate, DxOMark has a new Audio testing protocol to measure just how good those capabilities are.

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First Pixel feature drop detailed: better video calls, robocall filter

First Pixel feature drop detailed: better video calls, robocall filter

Google is gearing up to release the first 'feature drop' for its Pixel handsets, one that will bring a few new changes to its latest Pixel 4 model, as well as some of the latest features to its older Pixel handsets and enhanced memory management across the entire Pixel line. The features have already started rolling out, according to Google, though some Pixel owners may have to wait a couple of weeks before they see the changes.

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Pixel and Pixel XL now receiving their last security update

Pixel and Pixel XL now receiving their last security update

The very first Pixel phone marked and important milestone in Google's history when it formally started making its own phones. The OG Pixel, as they are now called, represented Google's vision of what Android phones should be and, at least for a time, surprised everyone by grabbing the top spot in phone camera reviews. Today, however, marks the end of the Pixel's and Pixel XL's long life as they receive their final security update, for real this time.

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Google Stadia Controller CLAW clip now has a price tag, still no date

Google Stadia Controller CLAW clip now has a price tag, still no date

Stadia is quickly becoming one of Google's most controversial products and, for the first time, it's not because of privacy concerns. The launch has been rocky at best but Google really has little choice but to keep moving forward. In fact, it has just put up the product page for what is perhaps Stadia's first nonessential accessory, a $15 clip that holds your Pixel phone in place above the Stadia Controller. Presuming you have both, of course.

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Pixel 4 XL teardown reveals a mess of parts inside

Pixel 4 XL teardown reveals a mess of parts inside

What should have been the Pixel 3's redemption may very well end up being worse than last year's Google flagship smartphone. The Pixel 4 was already off to a rough start in rumors and specs and its actual launch didn't exactly prove those wrong. While the cameras and pristine Android software remained impressive, the rest of the specs and features make it hard to justify the premium price tag. And now it seems that the Pixel 4 XL is just as convoluted on the inside as it was fragile on the outside.

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Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

The radar-based Motion Sense is in danger of becoming the Pixel 4's Bixby Button, unwanted and unused. Or to be more precise, it's unused because it's actually unavailable in most markets, at least officially. Perhaps that's the reason why Google is in no hurry to make any Motion Sense API available to app developers to use outside of Google's official list. Fortunately, just like Motion Sense itself, some developers have developed ways to work around those limitations but it won't be an easy task.

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