Android Police has posted a rather exhaustive set of rumors over the past few months about Google's Pixel phones and other hardware that was unveiled at Google's October 4th event. We think that, now that we have most of the details, it's time to do a post-mortem on our coverage, and pull it all together into one place. We'll be going through this [roughly] chronologically and by two categories: Pixel phones... and everything else. Let's get started with the Pixel phones.
Pixel and Pixel XL
Marlin and Sailfish "Nexus" phones
Our rumors regarding these phones begin way back in April, nearly six months ago. Read More
There was a great deal of consternation earlier this month when it was revealed the Pixel phones would ship with Android 7.1, but Nexus phones were going to lag behind. Today, there's a little less reason to be upset with the announcement of the Android 7.1 developer preview. It's coming later this month, but not to all the same devices we saw in the last preview. Read More
The Google Pixel phones aren't coming out for a few weeks yet, but some system dumps are available for closer inspection already. Among the myriad of APKs pulled out of that, there's a new version of Google Keyboard. It's version 5.2, and includes two new Pixel themes, as well as a few little tweaks. Read More
Last month, an APK teardown revealed that Project Fi, Google's wireless network, was preparing to offer group plans. Now group plans are official, and admittedly, the pricing isn't spectacular.
Project Fi already offers $20 a month for Fi Basics, which is unlimited talk and text. Every GB of data is $10, but Fi credits back any data you don't use. Now you can add up to five additional people to your Fi plan, who each pay $15/month for Fi Basics and the same $10 per GB. So by going with a group plan, you're saving $5 per person. Read More
Before Street View and PhotoSpheres and Local Guides programs with millions of user-submitted photos, there was Panoramio. The site launched in 2005 as a way for users to share geotagged photos around the world and was later acquired by Google in 2007. Its Google Earth and Maps layers boast nearly 100 million user-contributed images, with many locations around the globe offering more pictures than what's available from Maps user submissions.
However, back in 2014, Google had decided to shut down Panoramio and fold it into Maps. That decision was met with some push back from the community, and thus resulted in the delay of the final doom and Google working to implement more social features and contributions in Google Maps to make the Panoramio shutdown more tolerable. Read More
Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 22.214.171.124 or newer.
If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup. Read More
Even in a world with Chromecasts and other streaming devices, it's often just easier to plug your phone directly into your TV with an HDMI cable and an adapter. Some people depend on this functionality quite a bit, and for those of you that do, it might not please you to hear that Google's Pixel smartphones will not support the company's own USB Type-C to HDMI adapter. Read More
Google will be shipping the Pixel and Pixel XL in a few weeks, but you can download the system dumps from the phones right now. Developer and occasional leaker LlabTooFeR has posted the files online, but don't get excited thinking these dumps will let you install Android 7.1 on your device. This is still a chance to get a look at the Pixel's software a little early, though. Read More
The Play Store, like many other Google apps, is no stranger to server-side UI updates; however, it's pretty rare for Google to be testing multiple changes at once. Currently, Google is not only testing a renamed Entertainment section, but also a different look for the carousel, the removal of the search bar, and a new Google Play Store banner. Read More
Google has been working to bring more and more functionality directly into search results, without the user having to visit a seperate site. You can now find your IP address, run a speed test, convert units, and more all from Search. Following that trend, now Google has added an RGB to Hex converter.
If you're unfamiliar, RGB and Hex are both color spaces used to identify colors. For example, #000000 in Hex and (0,0,0) in RGB both refer to Black. Searching 'RGB to Hex' brings up a simple color picker that shows results in RGB and Hex. You can search any Hex or RGB value, and it will show the color in both formats. Read More