Android Police

Pixel

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Google is looking into Android 8.1 lockscreen swipe issues on Pixel devices

I'd wager that most owners of Pixel phones use the fingerprint sensors on the back to unlock their phones, but there are circumstances in which using the backup PIN, pattern, or password is necessary. Many Pixel owners, myself included, have noticed that it's become rather difficult to swipe the lockscreen up on Android 8.1 Oreo. Google is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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Get the Pixel 2's portrait mode on your first-gen Pixel phones, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X with this mod [APK Download]

Portrait mode became one of the most popular features for cameras in 2017. Apple's iPhone lineup, the Galaxy Note8, the OnePlus 5T, and even the Essential Phone have it in their camera apps. However, owners of older phones were left out of the fun. Luckily, serial Google Camera modder Charles Chow has created a modded Google Camera APK with portrait mode on board for the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X.

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The most (and least) popular devices used to browse Android Police in 2017

Last August, I published a list of the most and least popular smartphones and tablets used on Android Police. That post was surprisingly popular - and I've had repeated requests for a follow-up. Now that well over a year has passed, I think the time is right for a new installment, and one spanning a far greater time period than the month-long data set I used to compile the last version.

This time, I'll be showing you which devices were the most popular across the whole of 2017. And, of course, I'll show you some of the outliers, to give you a sense of how some devices have fallen (or never grown) from the ranks.

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Opinion: Google has quietly become one of the world's most important hardware companies

As we say goodbye to 2017, I'd like you to think back to five years ago - specifically, Google five years ago. At that time, if I had told you Google was one of the world's most important consumer electronics manufacturers, you'd probably have laughed at me.

Mentally put yourself in 2012: Google's just announced the fourth Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, along with the Nexus 10 tablet. At Google I/O six months prior, it unveiled the Nexus Q - a device intended to be some sort of smart entertainment hub... and proceeded to cancel its public launch.

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[Deal Alert] Verizon Pixel 2 and 2 XL are $550 off (GC + bill credit), original Pixel is $200 off (GC) at Target

It's a fantastic time to be in the market for a Pixel 2 or 2 XL, especially if you're a Verizon customer and live near a Target store. Hot on the heels of a Google Store deal offering $50-75 off the latest Pixel phones, Target is offering a $250 gift card if you activate a Pixel 2 or 2 XL on a new Verizon line or a current one, and Verizon is offering a $300 bill credit spread out over 24 months. That adds up to a rather hefty $550 off Google's latest smartphones, if you're fine with some creative math.

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Google has added text to the Pixel Launcher search box for some, and nobody wants it

Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either.

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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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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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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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