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pixel xl

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Google's November system images and OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices are (mostly) live [Update: Pixel 2 XL OTA rolling out]

The month is getting underway, and that means it's time for Google to issue its monthly raft of Pixel and Nexus updates. The updates will filter down to phones in the next day or so, but the system images and OTA files for most devices are available now if you want to sideload. There's not a ton new here, but as this is a November patch level, you should have protection from the KRACK vulnerability.

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Google Photos v3.8 has a fancy new Lens animation [APK Download]

Google Lens is taking its sweet time getting ready for its full-fledged debut. The juiced-up version of Google Goggles is already available to those who use the first- and second-generation Pixel smartphones, but it's cooped up in the Photos app and has yet to appear in Assistant, as promised back in May at I/O. One of the reasons for this delay appears to be aesthetic, as Google Photos v3.8 shows off a new animation while Lens is analyzing a photo.

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Google announces Android 8.1 developer preview, final release planned for December

Google launched the new Pixel phones with Android 8.0, which is what last year's Pixel's have been running since the update. A new version of Oreo is on the way, though, and you can try it right now. Google has launched a developer preview for Android 8.1. As usual, it's supported on recent Google devices and can be installed in two ways.

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Despite being live in Photos, Google Lens is only coming to Assistant in a few weeks

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.

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Google Lens is rolling out to the first-gen Pixel and Pixel XL in Photos app

Google Lens made its official debut at Google's October 4th event alongside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but we first checked it out nearly a month before that. In Corbin's hands-on, he found that Lens was pretty impressive overall, with some room to improve. Now, it seems to be rolling out to 2016's Pixel and Pixel XL through Google Photos.

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Google says fix for Pixel SMS issue will roll out with November security patches

Reports of missing text messages on the original Pixel and Pixel XL began popping up as soon as the Oreo update rolled out several weeks back. Owners of affected devices collected their experiences in the Google Product Forums, and Google pledged to look into the matter. That was just a few days ago, and now Google says it's tracked down the cause. You can expect a fix soon.

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Some Pixel phones can't receive any text messages, Google is working on a fix [Update]

Google can't go a few days without some sort of critical issue hampering the use of their products. Most recently, there was the issue with Artem's Home Mini recording everything he said, but there have also been multiple bugs with Android Auto, Google Clock, and more. The latest problem? Some Pixel phones can't receive texts. This looks to have been an issue for a while, though it's taken until now for Google to respond. And until the company releases an actual fix, there's nothing Pixel owners can really do about it.

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Google confirms original-quality photo uploads from the 2016 Pixels are grandfathered for life

Ever since Google went out of its way to put a (very short) expiration date on unlimited photo uploads for the new Pixel 2s, there's been some concern about the original 2016 Pixels, as they never had a limit placed on them. We reached out to a Google representative for some clarification and were told that nothing has changed when it comes to the original Pixels. Both the 2016 Pixel and 2016 Pixel XL will continue to receive free unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos with no time limitations.

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Duo and ViLTE video call integration with Google Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages is rolling out to Google-supported phones

If 1950's science fiction has taught me anything, it's that video calling is supposed to be the future. Today Google announced in a blog post that we're one step closer to that vision of reality. Integrated video calling (via Duo or ViLTE) is rolling out to first-generation Pixel, Android One, and Nexus devices, via the Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages apps. No schedule yet for ray-gun or jetpack integration. 

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Fused Video Stabilization on the Pixel 2 fixes the original models' 'Terminator effect'

The original Pixel and Pixel XL have fantastic camera capabilities. Not only does HDR+ make most still images look great, but both phones include Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) to reduce shaky video. Despite being done entirely in software, the result is incredibly-smooth video that looks almost unreal.

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