Android Police

Pixel 3a XL

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Pixel phones can now vibrate before ramping up the volume

Starting this month, Pixel owners will gain an additional sound option that controls how their phones behave when a call comes in. Awkwardly referred by Google as the ramping ringer feature, it lets the phone vibrate for a few seconds first before the ringtone volume goes up in an increasingly louder fashion.

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125

Google's November patches out: First update for Pixel 4, 2016 Pixels left behind

Monthly security patches for November 2019 are out for Google's Pixels — including the latest Pixel 4 and 4 XL. This marks the first major monthly update for the pair of phones, and they're getting a few fixes with it, too. In addition to the generally enhanced security, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are getting some camera tweaks and improvements to Smooth Display, likely tied to previous oddities observed in the feature.

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Google Fi is taking 25% off all Pixel 3a purchases

If you want to buy a Google phone from the Google carrier, now's the time to do so: for a limited (but indeterminate amount of) time, Google Fi is offering new and existing customers 25% off the price of a Pixel 3a or 3a XL if they activate the device with the network.

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Tip: Double tap the Live Caption overlay to see more lines of text

Live Caption is one of the most interesting features introduced on the Pixel 4, and it's great that it's coming to the Pixel 3 and 3a line, as well. By default, it only shows you two lines of live-transcribed text, which might be enough in most circumstances. But if you ever need to see more context, you can double tap the overlay to make it display eight lines of text.

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Live Caption on Pixel 4 works even on muted videos, only pops up when needed

Live Caption is one of the most impressive features coming to Android. It automatically transcribes anything being said in a video or audio on your screen for you to read, and can be an invaluable tool for hearing-impaired users — plus it could avoid awkward glances if you raise the volume too much in public. Now that the feature has launched exclusively on the Pixel 4, everyone has been trying it out and discovering a few nice, and perhaps unexpected aspects of it.

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Pixel 4's Live HDR+ and Dual Exposure Control won't come to Pixel 3 and 3a

The Pixel 4 has some impressive new camera tricks up its sleeve, such as live HDR+ previews and Dual Exposure Controls, that should help you shoot even more stunning images than you could with its predecessors. Even though these features seem like they must be purely software-related, apparently they aren't. That's why they won't come to the older Pixels, as Google has just stated on Twitter.

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Some Pixel users are seeing a 4G icon instead of LTE, but Google is working on a fix

With the latest Android 10 October security patch, some people using Pixel phones in the US have seen their LTE icon switch to 4G. This change is also visible in network settings, where it says 4G instead of LTE when you're choosing a connectivity preference. Since there's a lot of confusion about what exactly the difference between the two standards is, people used to seeing LTE instead of 4G have been concerned that their connection may have been downgraded. As it turns out, the whole gallimaufry was an unintended change of terminology, not a switch of the actual network, and Google has both a workaround to offer and a proper fix in the works.

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58

Pixel 4's astrophotography mode is coming to Pixel 3 and 3a

One of the coolest things about the newly-announced Pixel 4 is its enhanced Night Sight mode that allows for some impressive shots of the night sky. If astrophotography is your main reason for considering an upgrade from the Pixel 3 or 3a, though, you might want to pump the brakes. Google's confirmed that the functionality is making its way to the previous generation of Pixel devices.

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123

Google Pixels and Essential Phone pick up first Android 10 monthly patches

In keeping with tradition, monthly security patches for Android are being released for Pixel phones starting today, with one twist: this is the first time we've gotten a monthly update since Android 10 landed. (The "C3" presumably bugfix release last month doesn't count.) That means a whole pile of functional patches is also included, fixing everything from sensor calibration to potential bootloops, memory drains, and missing notifications.

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25

Pixel 3a and 3a XL $50 off at multiple retailers, starting at $350

With Google's October 15 event inching closer, the company keeps discounting its current-gen devices. While we're not expecting to see a Pixel 3a successor this month, Google's budget line is also now seeing a price drop of $50 across Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo. The 3a is going for $350 at these retailers and the 3a XL will set you back $430.

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