Google Pixel

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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Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Google seems to be pushing Assistant as its one interface to rule them all, connecting users to its services no matter what device they're on. That, however, doesn't mean Google Assistant needs to be "in your face", especially during the brief moments you interact with it. That kind of "ambient computing" is what Google is now trying to push, starting with the more compact Google Assistant in the Pixel 4 that has now started to land on the Pixel 3 as well.

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Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

If Pixel phones are supposed to represent Google's vision for the perfect Android phone, the Pixel 4 is doing a rather poor job at it. In addition to some concerns about face recognition security, the wasted potential of Soli radar, and the newly-revealed durability problem, the Pixel 4's screen is also generating some disappointment among owners. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed through software. Unfortunately, one such fix requires users to root their phones first.

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Pixel 4 XL isn’t as durable as its price suggests

Pixel 4 XL isn’t as durable as its price suggests

Even more than the Nexus phones before it, the Pixel phones, designed and "Made by Google", are supposed to represent the ideal Android phone. At least as Google sees it. That definitely works on the software side but by making its own phone, Google is risking that the overall package may be tarnished by the hardware. That may exactly be the case with the Pixel 4 XL whose price tag would make you presume it had more to offer.

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Pixel and Pixel XL will get its last update in December

Pixel and Pixel XL will get its last update in December

One of the perks of owning a Nexus device back in the days was the pure, unadulterated Android experience straight from Google as well as a regular and steady supply of updates faster than any OEM could muster. That, fortunately, carried over to the Pixel line but not even Google could keep the software updates coming forever. It doesn't need to be forever but every extension is more than welcome and that is exactly the news that OG Pixel and Pixel XL owners are now reading, courtesy of Google.

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Pixel and Pixel XL no longer receiving updates starting November 2019

Pixel and Pixel XL no longer receiving updates starting November 2019

Another month, another batch of Android security updates are starting to roll out. Of course, Google's Pixel phones will be the first to receive the patches while most OEM phones need to wait their turn after a month or so. While the monthly update does bring a couple of treats for Pixel owners, especially Pixel 4 owners, it does come with what may be sad news for those still holding on to the very first Pixel phones. It seems that the day has finally come for them to consider their devices orphaned, at least by official Android updates.

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Pixel 4 USB-C video output exists but is disabled in source code

Pixel 4 USB-C video output exists but is disabled in source code

Phone screens are getting larger, enough for them to be the only kind of computer some people use. At the same time, however, smartphones are also becoming more capable that they can become veritable computers or media centers if you attach an external display. For the majority of smartphones these days, that often means "projecting" a phone's screen via Chromecast or even Miracast but there are a few that do support video output via their USB-C port. The Pixel 4 should have been part of the latter group but it turns out that, for one reason or another, Google chose to disable it at the deepest kernel level.

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Google’s Recorder app with auto-transcribe will arrive on older Pixels

Google’s Recorder app with auto-transcribe will arrive on older Pixels

The launch of the Pixel 4 model also ushered in the arrival of Recorder, an app from Google that it made available exclusively on this handset. The app is notable for its auto-transcription feature, which automatically turns speech into text with a high level of accuracy without depending on the cloud. The same app will soon be available on older Pixel models.

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Google Stadia expands to Pixel 2, 4, sign-in on iOS, Android

Google Stadia expands to Pixel 2, 4, sign-in on iOS, Android

The video game streaming platform Google Stadia was announced as working with additional phones at launch today. Previously-announced Google Pixel 3, 3a, 3 XL, and 3a XL will have access on launch day, and today Google added the Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 2, and 2 XL to the launch lineup. Launch of the service itself will take place on November 19, 2019, at which time both Android and iOS devices will have some access to the Stadia app.

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Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures face another hurdle to adoption

Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures face another hurdle to adoption

After a brief stint with notches, Google returned to a full forehead in the Pixel 4 but not because of a change of heart. It needed more room for its array of front-facing sensors, including the Soli radar chip that enabled one of the phone's key features. Unfortunately, due to the nature of that technology, the Pixel 4's gesture-based Motion Sense isn't available in all markets. It might not matter in the near future since it apparently isn't available to developers outside of Google anyway.

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Google Camera app mod released with Astrophotography for Pixel 1, 2

Google Camera app mod released with Astrophotography for Pixel 1, 2

Starting today, older Pixel devices will have access to a set of powers that, until now, were reserved only for the newest in the Pixel smartphone line, unofficially. While some of these next-gen features will make their way to the Pixel 3 family at some point, the Google Camera 7.2 mod app is a 3rd-party piece of work that'll bring new features to older Pixel devices right this minute. This includes such interesting oddities as Astro Mode for Pixel 1 and Pixel 2, as well as "Auto Timer" for a photobooth-like ability.

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Google Pixel 4 90Hz Smooth Display will support more brightness conditions

Google Pixel 4 90Hz Smooth Display will support more brightness conditions

The Pixel 4 is finally landing in owners' eager hands but, just as it was during the announcement, reception of Google's latest premium flagship is turning up to be a mixed bag. On the one hand, it delivers the usual serving of an excellent and pristine Android experience. On the other hand, some of its novel features are giving users concern which, in turn, is causing Google to promise more updates than it regularly does.

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