Android Police

Pixel 2 XL

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Google seems to have locked the Pixel Launcher's install count to '1-5' in the Play Store [Update]

The Pixel Launcher comes pre-installed on Pixel phones, but it's also listed in the Play Store for easy updates. However, Google appears to have made an unusual change to the app listing there. It no longer shows the actual number of installs. Instead, it's locked to the smallest "1-5" group.

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[UK Deal Alert] £50 off a Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL, plus a free Home Mini

Anyone who kept an eye on the price of the original Google Pixels will have noticed that they were seldom discounted, especially in the UK, which was a real pain for anyone waiting for the price to drop before picking one up. Only once the 2nd generation models were released did the originals finally come down substantially. We expect the Pixel 2s to follow a similar pattern, but the holidays can throw up the occasional surprise.

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Google's AR Stickers are rolling out to Pixel devices [APK Download]

Google spent years working on the augmented reality hardware known as Tango. There have been two consumer phones with Tango so far, neither of which has been a great experience. However, the company recently showed off augmented reality content running on Pixel phones without Tango hardware. It didn't have a timeline for making AR stickers available, but today appears to be the day. An update to AR core has appeared in the Play Store and the AR Stickers app is live.

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Google is pushing final 8.1 OTA updates to Pixel 2 and 2 XL devices on the beta

Android 8.1 Oreo is final just a few weeks after the second developer preview rolled out. You can get the system images and OTA files for manual installation, and OTAs are hitting phones running 8.0. That's not all—devices in the developer preview that were running DP2 are also seeing an OTA update today.

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[Update: Best Buy too] Get $300 off a Pixel 2 or 2 XL at Verizon

There has been ample griping about the high cost of Google's Pixel phones, much of it completely reasonable. Dropping $850 on the Pixel 2 XL just isn't feasible for a lot of people, but you can get a good discount on a Pixel 2 or 2 XL today if you don't mind going through Verizon. Pick up a Pixel, and Verizon will knock $300 off the total cost. As usual, this comes with some caveats.

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Google's device art generator adds frames for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixelbook

Every year, Google adds frames of its new devices to the device art generator. This time around, Google took a little longer than usual, but frames for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixelbook are finally here. And just like before, it's brutally simple to use, meaning that you, too, can frame your screenshots in Google's new gadgets.

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Android 8.1 OTA files and factory images are now live

Anxiously waiting for 8.1 to land? It would appear that today is the day. Google has just released both the OTA files for sideloading 8.1 and the requisite factory images. Intrepid Android enthusiasts can flash the update, though it is worth noting that the OTA files aren't currently working when sideloading from DP2 on at least one device. 

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Google's December 2017 security bulletin is up, system updates go live tomorrow (December 5th)

It's almost time for another round of updates to Google's Android devices. The currently supported Pixels and Nexus phones should begin seeing new builds tomorrow, but Google already has the latest security bulletin up to detail what's fixed in the new version. There don't appear to be any functional updates this month, though.

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[Update: Fixed in DP2] Some Pixel 2 XL touchscreens are unresponsive near the edges, but a fix is coming

Stop me if you've heard this one before: The Pixel 2 XL has another screen issue. Just a few days after we posted about the screen flashing when some owners unlock or lock their Pixel 2 XL, some of the device's owners are having difficulty with touch responsiveness near the edges of the screen. The good news is that Google has acknowledged the issue and will sort it out in a future OTA update.

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Most Wanted: The best smartphones you can buy

It's that time of year again. Knowing our audience, chances are that you're looking for some sort of gadget to purchase for yourself or someone else. Whether the smartphone being replaced is too old, too bootloopy, or just doesn't have all the features you want, we've got you covered with our choices for the best smartphones you can buy.

The sheer number of smartphones on the market today makes narrowing the choices down difficult. So many factors - battery life, cameras, displays, software, water resistance, and more - come into play, but our goal is to find the best all-rounders out there.

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