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6

Pixel 4, 4 XL, and 4a pick up security certification from ioXt Alliance — required for Android 11's Enterprise Recommendation

Pixel phones have always been some of the most secure in the market, which is something Google has always been proud of. Today the Pixel 4 family, including the newly released Pixel 4a, picked up yet another security accolade by becoming the first smartphones to be officially certified by The Internet of Secure Things Alliance.

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19

YouTube Music tests playing personal playlists via Google Assistant

In another "I can't believe it couldn't already do that" feature addition, YouTube Music is now testing the ability to pick and play your personal playlists from the Google Assistant. So the next time you need to fire up that "Summer 2017 workout jams" playlist, you can just ask the Assistant with your voice.

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38

Android 11 will make password autofill much better thanks to keyboard integration

Android has offered native autofill since Android 9 Pie, but despite that being an official method, actually filling out passwords and addresses is sometimes wonky, and phones often need a few seconds to recognize password entry fields. Google wants to improve that experience with Android 11 and has introduced a new autofill method that integrates with your keyboard, be it Gboard or a third-party app.

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4

Google Fit now details pace per mile, helping you better judge your running performance (APK download)

Google Fit helps you keep an eye on your fitness, be it via a smartwatch or just via your phone's own sensors. To make it even easier to parse how you did during your latest run, the company has added a pace per mile/km bar graph to a workout's details. The disappearing and re-appearing elevation map has also returned for some with this release, though not for everyone.

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43

Pixel 4 vs Pixel 4a: $450 cheaper, but not $450 worse

The Pixel 4a is hands down a winner, even when stacked up against the already great Pixel 3a from 2019. We gave Google's new budget phone a glowing review, and there are ample reasons why. But at $350, you may be wondering how it compared to the premium Pixel 4, a phone costing more than twice as much ($800). Is there really $450 more smartphone in Google's high-end Pixel? We really don't think so, even when you're just comparing spec tables. But when you get down to the raw experience, the comparison is even more favorable to the 4a: this isn't just a great phone for the money, it's a great phone, no asterisk necessary.

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59

Pixel 4a vs. Pixel 3a: What's new in Google's 2020 budget phone?

The Pixel 3a was our phone of the year in 2019, and for a lot of very good reasons. At $400, it offered a camera experience that many phones costing twice as much couldn't, and an update policy no other Android OEM could match. With the Pixel 4a, then, Google had a lot to live up to, and we weren't sure they could outdo the 3a without compromising on price (and you should read our review of it). It turns out, we were wrong: the 4a makes a few notable changes to the formula Google introduced with the 3a, but their collective impact results in an objectively better smartphone at a lower price.

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237

The Pixel 5 might have a lower-end chipset, but we're not worried, and here's why

There's now ample evidence that Google will use a Snapdragon 765G chip in the anticipated Pixel 5, something that's raised more than a few eyebrows into the phone's launch. All of Google's previous Pixel phones have used Qualcomm's high-end 800 series Snapdragon chips, and some are fearful that a switch to a less premium processor could mean taking a real performance hit. But we've been using several Snapdragon 765G-powered phones for the last few weeks — namely, the OnePlus Nord, Moto Edge, and Vivo X50 Pro — and, frankly, we're not worried.

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43

Android TV is getting Instant Apps, Gboard updates, and PIN-based purchases

Android TV doesn't always feel like it's getting much attention, but the user base has grown substantially in recent history. According to Google, the number of active devices has grown by 80% in the last year, owed largely to adoption by seven out of the top ten smart TV manufacturers and set-top boxes from 160 TV service providers. With so many new users and a continually growing assortment of apps, Google is highlighting changes to the platform that will improve the experience for users and developers.

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208

The Pixel 4a is the perfect upgrade from an older Pixel flagship

Google's phones typically last a good long while, at least software-wise. And we've seen that in practice, as many Android Police readers browse the site with Pixel 2 and even original Pixel smartphones today. But if you have one of these older phones, you may be getting to the point where an upgrade is finally on the table, and if you are still holding onto an old Pixel (or even Nexus) phone, the Pixel 4a is probably the best phone to come around in years to get you to pull the trigger. And at $350, it's not going to break the bank.

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15

Google Pixel 4a vs Pixel 4 camera comparison: Is there a difference?

One of the delightful surprises that came with the Pixel 3a last year was its camera. Unlike so many smartphone manufacturers, Google didn't opt to somehow make the imaging experience on its budget phone worse: the photos it took were exactly like those shot on the premium Pixel 3 and 3 XL, phone costing twice as much. As a result, the 3a took photos better than many $1000 flagships. With the Pixel 4a, Google hasn't messed with that formula. The new budget Pixel snaps shots that look every bit like those from its far more expensive siblings, and will make anything this side of an iPhone 11 Pro jealous.

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