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.
Now that Android 11's codebase has been released, folks have started digging through looking for smaller changes that may have gone unnoticed — or which hide future as-yet-unimplemented features. One small but potentially useful tweak has been spotted: Android 11 expands the utility of the new "firm" or "deep" press feature on the Pixel 4 and later to let you expand bundled notifications.
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.
The first Developer Preview for Android 11 landed in February of this year, and Google has continued to iterate and add new features across several more Developer Previews and Betas. As revealed earlier this summer at the start of Google's "11 weeks of Android" promotion, the stable version of Android 11 has arrived, ready for public consumption and rolling out to Google Pixel devices.
As part of today's Pixel 4a festivities, Google has also announced a new feature that's coming to older Pixels as well. Remember Google's Live Caption feature that transcribes speech in real-time, on-device, for things like videos? Well, Live Caption will now also work for video and voice calls — more useful than ever in these socially distant times.
IMG is the most common file name for images that come out of cameras, used in many phones and DSLRs, including the Google Pixel lineup. Google is looking to differentiate files created by the Pixel line's excellent cameras, though. Starting with Google Camera version 7.5, currently only available for devices running the Android 11 beta, image file names will start with PXL instead of IMG.
If you hadn't heard, the Pixel 4 was officially discontinued a few days ago. At $800, this imperfect phone was always a bit of a hard sell, but it becomes more enticing when you knock $250 off the price. Right now, you can get the base model Pixel 4 for $550 or the version with 128 gigs of storage for $650, both $250 off their original prices.
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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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.
The setting to forcibly enable the Pixel 4 to a 90Hz-always mode has been brought back as of Android 11 Beta 3. So far as we can tell, the setting was removed in Beta 2. However, it has been brought back — seemingly with a new name.