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Google's Pixel phones will be IP53 rated, meaning no dunking your Pixel or hosing it down

Hopes of highly water-resistant Pixel phones have, according to a reliable source we've trusted in the past, been dashed. Google's new handsets will be advertised as having IP53 dust and water resistance, which essentially amounts to almost no enhanced water resistance at all. For reference, the HTC 10 also has this rating, and is not marketed as being water-resistant.

The "3" in IP53 means a device will not experience damaging water ingress when upright at an angle not to exceed 60 degrees from vertical while being sprayed by relatively low-pressure (somewhere between 7-20PSI or 50 to 150kPa) water. This probably means very little to you phrased this way, but IPX3 is essentially saying the device will not experience water ingress (i.e., water won't get inside) when held at a relatively upward angle in your hand during use in very heavy rain or when lightly splashed.

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Exclusive: Google may finally be giving Android a reboot button on the upcoming Pixel phones

You asked for it. You've asked for years. And while manufacturers like Samsung and LG have long obliged us, Google has refused. With the coming of the Pixel phones, we're starting over - literally. Google may finally, thankfully, mercifully be adding a reboot button to the power menu on its new smartphones, which will run Android 7.1 out of the box. Praise be unto whoever achieved this (Artem will be here shortly to claim it was him which, frankly, it very possibly was - I was there when he pleaded for it at I/O).

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Google will announce Pixel phones, 4K Chromecast, Google Home, Daydream VR viewer on October 4th

According to a reliable source, Google plans to hold a major event focusing on hardware October 4th. It will use the event to announce its new Pixel-branded smartphones Pixel and Pixel XL, a 4K Chromecast, fully detail Google Home, and reveal the company's in-house design for a Daydream VR viewer device (Google previously confirmed this was happening). Here is what we know.

  • The 4K Chromecast will do 4K and be called either the Chromecast Plus or Chromecast Ultra (makes sense - ultra HD). We aren't sure which.
  • The Daydream device may be called Daydream View.

Google was allegedly planning to announce a 4K version of the Chromecast last year, but seems to have scuttled the launch for some reason.

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Exclusive: Google's new phones will be called the Pixel and Pixel XL

Speaking to two independent sources, we now strongly believe that Google's formerly-maybe-Nexus-phones, Marlin and Sailfish, will be marketed as the Pixel and the Pixel XL. We do not have pricing information. At this time, it is unknown to us when Google decided to shift its in-house smartphone brand from Nexus to Pixel or why (though speculation will likely run wild).

The Pixel will be the 5" Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5" Marlin. As to our confidence in this information: given that our two sources are independent, and the fact that one in particular has been exceptionally reliable in the past, we feel comfortable saying you can take this to the bank.

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Google Assistant can answer your voice messages in Allo

We've covered a lot of what Google Allo can do as a messaging application, but we haven't yet scratched the surface of one of its most interesting features: Assistant. It lives as a standalone chat, but also as a bot ready to answer any question inside your other conversations (not the Incognito ones though, as we've said before) by just mentioning @google.

Since Assistant is an evolution of Google Now / OK Google commands, and since Allo can send voice messages, there's a nifty feature you can easily deduce from the combination of the two: Assistant will interpret your voice messages in Allo. It's as cool as you might guess.

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Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version)

I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.

In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history. Whether you uninstall the app and reinstall it on the same phone, perform a device restore and have to install it again, move your SIM card to a new phone and need to authenticate Allo there, almost nothing sticks or carries around.

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Google Allo's incognito chats have Snapchat-like expiring messages, private notifications, and encryption keys

The nice graphic you see above is the background of all your incognito conversations on Google Allo. It's one of the visual cues the app uses to let you differentiate between a regular chat and an incognito one. But what are these more secure chats and how exactly do they work?

Based on information we've obtained from a test preview version of Allo, here is what you should expect.

First, these chats are end-to-end encrypted (we've known they'll be using the Signal protocol for a while) with unique identity keys for each participant. One of the side effects of encryption is that Google Assistant doesn't work in them.

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[Revolutionary] Google Allo will let you search all of your conversations... inside the app

One thing has always annoyed me about Hangouts: there's no search option. How can you have a messaging service and not allow people to search through their conversations inside the service?! That's beyond comprehension. Of course there's a way to circumvent it by searching through chats in Gmail. But that neither was intuitive nor made sense unless you were familiar with the feature.

According to screenshots we've received from a test preview version of Allo, Google's new messaging app doesn't suffer from that silly limitation. Search is well implemented and it's universal throughout the app. There's a search icon on the top right of the main screen that lets you look for a contact/group's name (in case you have lots of chats and need to quickly find a specific person/group) or any word(s) inside a chat.

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[Update] Media sharing on Allo: GIFs, compression, annotation, and some limitations

When talking to a contact on Google's upcoming Allo messaging application, there are a few different types of attachments you can send. We've already discussed voice messages and stickers, but you can also share your current location, a photo or video taken instantly with your camera, and also media files taken from your camera roll. Unfortunately, sending other types of files like music or documents doesn't seem to be possible - at least not with the test preview version of the app that we're basing this information on.

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