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Pixel 3

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Pixels only save bokeh portrait photos now — this workaround gives you the original picture

Pixels only save bokeh portrait photos now — this workaround gives you the original picture

Google Photos storage will soon count against your quota, which might be a reason why Google is trying to make its camera more economical. Following a big redesign of the Camera app, the developers introduced a new storage saver option, but that's not all they changed. Instead of saving two versions of a portrait photo, one with the signature artificially blurred background and one without it, the camera now only saves the blurred variant. But you can still get the photo with the original background if you really need it — here's how.

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128

Should you upgrade from a Pixel 2 or 3 to the Pixel 5?

Should you upgrade from a Pixel 2 or 3 to the Pixel 5?

Most people upgrade phones every 2-3 years, a schedule that's often dictated by carrier promotions and on-contract deals. While our readers likely buck that trend, Pixel owners hanging onto the same model for the last 2-3 years are probably considering upgrading. In the case of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, there's not much choice — it's that or stick with a phone that's less and less secure with each passing month. So is the Pixel 5 a worthy upgrade? For some of our readers, it might be, especially if they waited out the Pixel 4, as we generally recommended.

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53

Pixel 5 and 4a 5G get their first monthly updates with plenty of fixes in tow

Pixel 5 and 4a 5G get their first monthly updates with plenty of fixes in tow

November updates are rolling out now for Google's Pixels, and that includes the brand-new Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. Functional patch notes mention a whole pile of fixes for both new phones, as well as older Pixels. That includes fixes for the screen waking at certain times when it shouldn't, inadvertently hidden system navigation during full-screen playback, issues with ringer audio for starred contacts in DND mode, and resolutions for a handful of Android Auto bugs. As expected, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have no update this month.

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32

Tip: Android 11's built-in screen recorder also works for voice calls

Tip: Android 11's built-in screen recorder also works for voice calls

Android 11 is the first Android version to ship with a built-in screen recorder on Pixel phones. The native solution has a few tricks up its sleeve compared to third-party options. It's capable of recording sound in a few more places, and you can use that to your advantage when you want to record a phone call (if call recording isn't live in your Phone app, that is). Google even advertises as much in one of its YouTube videos detailing Android 11's top features.

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34

Portrait Light in Google Photos is rolling out to older Pixels

Portrait Light in Google Photos is rolling out to older Pixels

Portrait Light was announced along with the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. It's one more neat Pixel camera feature that lets you manually control light in portrait pics and adjust face brightness as you see fit, either for a more dramatic and contrasting effect or to balance things out in poorly-lit photos. The feature was said to be coming to older Pixels too, and now it's there on the Pixel 2, 3, and 4.

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42

Pixels get October patches with plenty of bugfixes, but this is the 2nd to last update for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL

Pixels get October patches with plenty of bugfixes, but this is the 2nd to last update for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL

Like clockwork, Google has just released its monthly Pixel updates, delivering both security enhancements as well as bug fixes and other improvements. This month, we have seven changes noted in the so-called "functional patch" notes, including auto-rotation improvements, automatic brightness fixes for the Pixel 4a, a bootloop fix, and a handful of other changes. Sadly, this month also marks the end of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL's stated support lifetime. Google has since confirmed to us that the phones will only get one more update after this in December.

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151

Pixel 2 camera curse continues — and it's spreading to newer Pixels

Pixel 2 camera curse continues — and it's spreading to newer Pixels

Pixel phones are renowned for stellar photography — when the camera app is working correctly. Pixel 2 owners, in particular, have complained about camera failures for a long time. We reported on it at the start of 2020, in fact. But even though the worst of this year is hopefully behind us, Pixel 2 users are still having camera problems — and things might be getting worse.

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42

LineageOS now supports every Pixel phone except 4a

LineageOS now supports every Pixel phone except 4a

LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM for Android devices, bringing new OS versions to phones and tablets that have long since been unsupported. The Pixel lineup has mostly been ignored by the project, outside of the original models, but now nearly every Google-made phone is receiving official builds of LineageOS.

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225

Increasing reports of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL battery swelling damaging phones

Increasing reports of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL battery swelling damaging phones

We're seeing many reports of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones with swollen batteries — enough to cause the backs of the phones to lift off. There are quite a few reports in Google's support forum and reddit. The issue also affected big boss Artem's 3 XL (#artemsluck, anyone)?

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22

Android 11 update for Google Pixels includes September security patches

Android 11 update for Google Pixels includes September security patches

Lost in yesterday's Android 11 hullabaloo was another bit of news: Security patches for Google's Pixel series were released together as part of the Android 11 update. This month's security-oriented fixes are more numerous than usual, with plenty of "high" and "critical" vulnerabilities included, so be sure to install the Android 11 update sooner rather than later.

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