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Pixel XL

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Google announces Android 7.1.2 Beta, includes Pixels, Nexus 5X, Player, 6P, and Pixel C [update: images]

Google has just announced Android 7.1.2, a maintenance release focused on fixing bugs and improving performance. The initial devices eligible for the update are the Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and both Pixel phone models. The Nexus 6P will be eligible, but not yet, with Google saying they expect the 7.1.2 beta will be "released soon."

Factory images don't yet appear to be live. Factory images are live here. Be sure to enroll your device in the beta program if you want to receive the OTA, which Google says will start rolling out soon.

As for what's changed? Google doesn't really say beyond a cryptic reference to "enhancements for carriers and users," whatever that means.

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Is your Google Pixel's rapid charging feeling less rapid lately?

I put out a question on Twitter a few minutes ago asking if anyone else was feeling like their Pixel was charging more slowly lately. The response was mixed, but some definitely concurred with me: For whatever reason, the Pixel's (and/or Pixel XL) rapid charging definitely isn't feeling so rapid sometimes.

I've consistently noticed when putting my Pixel on the official Google rapid charger (the one in the box) that it's taking much longer to charge than it should, regardless of whatever the indicated battery level is. At very low levels, I've seen the phone take nearly three hours to reach peak charge, which is well above what should be happening based on what we know about the charging speed.

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PSA: Google Assistant can remember things, on Allo, Pixel, and Home

We've often lamented the rather lacklustre approach Google has taken with Google Assistant, but it can do one thing: remember stuff. On all three things which use Assistant - that's Allo, Pixel, and Home - it can recall things it's been asked to remember. As Assistant is cross-platform, this works across all three devices; telling it to remember something on Home and then asking on Pixel does indeed work.

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Amazon is price-gouging Pixel XL buyers to the tune of over $1,500

The Pixel is a great phone, and as such, a lot of people want it. Although, Google seems to be dropping the ball with regard to making that possible. The Google Store is constantly sold out of the Pixel XL (and sometimes even the regular one), and this has led to price inflation. It's not unusual to see Amazon marketplace sellers listing items for well over MSRP when they're hard to come by, but this is Amazon asking $1,500 for a Pixel XL.

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LifeProof FRĒ waterproof cases for the Pixel and Pixel XL are now on the Google Store for $90 a pop

Unlike some other flagship phones, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are not officially water-resistant - their Ingress Protection rating is a mere 53, much less capable than some Samsung and Motorola designs. If you're left feeling a little exposed, LifeProof has a case to sell you. Previously only available on the manufacturer website, the FRĒ series of cases are now being sold on the Google Store alongside the phones themselves. The good news is that the cases have an IP68 rating, meaning they're dust-proof and submersible for up to two hours in 2 meters of water. The bad news is that the cases cost $89.95, for either the Pixel or Pixel XL.

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[Deal Alert] Daydream View headset price reduced to $49 in the Google Store until February 25th

Google's official VR headset for the Pixel and Pixel XL, the Daydream View, isn't absolutely necessary to enjoy the phones. But since owners have one of the only pieces of hardware on the planet currently compatible with the Daydream platform, it would be a shame to let the opportunity to check it out pass by. Google agrees... or at the very least, they have an overabundance of stock since the initial freebie preorders ran out. At the moment the headset is $30 off on the Google Store.

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5 things I'd like to see Google improve on in the next Pixel phone

I'm coming up on month three of near-uninterrupted use of the Pixel (specifically the Pixel XL), and as I've spent more and more time with Google's chosen phone, I think I've got a solid list of areas where I think Google could improve the device when a successor is released. While I still think the Pixel is quite easily the best Android phone currently on sale, it's not without compromises, some of which were not readily apparent to me until well after I started using it. Here are five areas I think are ripe for improvement on the Pixel, and that I hope are addressed when we see a new Pixel (again, hopefully) later this year.

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Google brings On Tap's screenshot feature to Assistant on the Pixel

Google got in a habit of dumping all sorts of features and incomplete ideas into Google Now on Tap. With the move away from On Tap, Assistant focused more on voice control and connected services. However, some of the useful features of On Tap were left behind too. In the case of screenshots, it looks like Google is bringing it back in Assistant.

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Is your Google Pixel's fingerprint scanner not working well? Try this trick

I love the Google Pixel, but there's no doubt that in the last few weeks I've noticed its fingerprint scanner becoming less and less reliable (I've heard it from others, too). I was puzzled, as the whole idea behind Google's Pixel Imprint is to become more accurate over time as it gets more and more reads of your finger. I tried removing my fingerprints and re-adding them, but that didn't help at all. So I went back to an old trick I used on some of the first touch-to-scan fingerprint reader phones - registering the same fingers more than once.

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Cold case files: Google Pixel case reviews (Updated: 01/09/17)

Phone protection is something that is either done by habit or is not cared for; I am a person who does the former. On a day to day basis, your phone is subjected to all types of abrasive materials, hard surfaces, accidental spills, random things in your pocket/bag etc. It is for this very reason that I simply must have a case on my device at all times.

Let’s look at phone protection from another perspective: When you purchase a device, it is an important investment. This phone will at some point or another be sold, given to a family member, or no longer used after a period of time.

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