Google Lens has been a long time coming since its announcement at I/O in May. It officially launched with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL and yesterday it also started rolling to the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL. However, that was and still is only in the Photos app. Lens, if you recall, should work both for Photos you've already taken but also for instantaneous visual searches in Assistant without requiring you take a photo first.
The latter part isn't live yet and everyone's been wondering why. The answer came a few days ago by way of two Googlers on Twitter who explained that the Assistant integration of Lens is still in the making and will be live "in the next few weeks." It seems that it's still not ready to go live, even as a Preview, and requires a bit more polishing before its grand debut. Read More
The last time Google made new alarm, notification, and ringtone sounds for Android was for the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition, because Google has done the same thing for this year's Pixels. We've also extracted them from a Pixel 2 XL, so you can use them on your own device. Read More
I've been using the Google Pixel 2 XL now for over a week. Its predecessor, the 2016 Pixel XL, is what I called the best Android phone ever six months after its release. I'm fairly certain that the 2 XL will take the original's title, at least in my opinion, without issue.
Before flaws, refinements
Around the internet, I am seeing a lot of revisionist history claiming the original Pixel XL was essentially a no-compromise, highly polished smartphone. Here's the thing: it wasn't.
The original Pixel had significant flaws, and in spite of them, I still thought it was the best smartphone I'd ever used. Read More
Google makes updated Android builds available for its devices every month, and the time has come for October's downloads to go live for Google's new phones. You can grab the system images or OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices, but not all of them are actually October patches. Google's latest and greatest phones are still only on the September security patch. Read More
If you keep an eye on Android news, and particularly if you have any interest in Google's latest hardware, it won't be news to you that there's some controversy surrounding the screen on the Pixel 2 XL. While almost every other aspect of the phone has received universal praise, the LG-made POLED display panel has seen plenty of criticism.
Several different complaints have been reported, ranging from a blue tint when viewing the screen at an angle, screen burn-in or image retention, lines of dead or colored pixels, low light graininess, dull (if accurate) color profile, light bleed, and even a strange shadow arc. Read More
More and more phones are being released with 18:9 screens (can we just call them 2:1?), and OEMs usually make small tweaks to Android to improve the experience. Google is no exception, as the company has made at least one change for the Pixel 2 XL - a new mode for YouTube videos. Read More
One of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's highlight features is the Active Edge squeezable frame. By default, the squeezing motion will activate Google Assistant, and Google doesn't allow you to make it trigger anything else. But just as it only took developers a few days to circumvent the issue with the Galaxy S8's Bixby button, we've already got a workaround courtesy of an update to an app called Button Mapper by flar2. Read More
The Portrait mode on the new Pixel 2 phones is impressive. With just a single camera, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are able to mimic a convincing depth of field effect, like that created by much larger hardware. It isn't quite as good as an SLR, but it's a reasonable approximation. And if you were interested in exactly how it works, we've put together an explanation. Read More
For those of you down under, Google's latest and greatest phones are now available for purchase. I hope you've been saving up, though. The Pixel 2 starts at more than a thousand bucks, and it'll cost you a few hundred more for the XL. Time to smash that piggy bank. Do you guys have those? Or are there like... platypus banks? I hope there are. Read More
As is tradition when a new phone is released, the Pixel 2 XL has appeared on the sacrificial altar of iFixit. Not only do we get to find out how easy this phone is to repair, it's a chance to see how things work in there. After tearing down Google's latest flagship, the team at iFixit has granted the phone a repairability score of 6 out of 10, which is better than many other devices. Read More