One of the promises of the new Assistant, as it was demo'ed by Google at I/O, is its direct integration with several apps on your phone. Instead of being an Assistant for Google's services first and foremost, the digital helper would put its smarts at every developer's disposal, letting them hook it up to several actions inside their apps. We've already gotten a small preview of this integration when we saw a few actions Assistant could perform inside Photos, Messages, WhatsApp, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Chrome. But we know there's more potential there, and Chrome is one of the first to implement broader support for Assistant, with direct browser actions accessible through voice commands. Read More
It looks like yet another app is taking advantage of the Pixel 4’s face unlock technology. This time, it’s the popular file-syncing storage app, Box. The latest update for the software allows the Pixel 4 — and other supported devices — to unlock the app using facial recognition. Read More
Google's Assistant newest iteration, which launched with the Pixel 4, has a few tricks up its sleeve, but accessing it has been restricted by some draconian requirements. You need to have a Pixel 4 with gesture navigation, no G Suite account on the same user profile, and everything has to be set to US English. That last limitation will soon be lifted with five new English variants joining in. Read More
In case you missed the recently concluded Black Friday and Cyber Monday extravaganza, this is your chance to grab a pretty sweet deal on Google’s latest flagship pair. Both the Pixel 4 and the 4 XL are down by $100 and $150, respectively, across major online stores. And if that wasn’t enough, Amazon is throwing in a free Google Wifi on top of these discounts.
If a recent sighting on Android Gerrit is to be believed, the process of installing updates on Android devices could be receiving a significant speed boost. The listing discusses a new feature called “Resume on Reboot” which would allow certain phones to complete the update process without requiring a manual unlock. Read More
At launch, no Pixel is without its issues, and the most recent problem might sound a bit familiar for those of you that remember the Pixel 2. A minority of Pixel 4 owners are experiencing what is alternately described as a popping, clicking, or tapping sound in videos recorded through third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Not all units appear to be affected (we have inconsistent experiences with it in-house), but based on the example below, it seems like it could be pretty annoying. Read More
Automatic call screening is one of the headliners of the December Pixel feature drop, and it has started to roll out to the first Pixel 4 units on the latest security patch level. Once it has arrived, it will automatically be deployed to deal with spam calls, and it can be activated for unknown, private, or possibly spoofed numbers, as well. The feature now also widely offers to save audio from any screened call in addition to the familiar transcript, just as we suspected from teardowns. Read More
Just a few days after we covered some possible upcoming features for the Pixel phones thanks to a teardown of the Pixel Tips app, Google officially introduced them as part of the first "Pixel feature drop." Other than memory enhancements to the Pixel phones, you'll find app-specific improvements in this update such as the option to add blur to any picture in Google Photos, automatic Call Screen support for robocalls, and improvements to Duo. Read More
Speaking to The Verge about the Pixel's first Feature Drop update, VP of Product for Pixel Sabrina Ellis claims that one of the features of that update—improved memory management—will eventually come to other Android smartphones. This implicitly confirms that the feature is not a Pixel-specific optimization, but rather a change in the Android platform itself.
The insight here, though, is that this means many Android phones may not take advantage of these changes to the way Android handles RAM for quite some time. That's because Google is likely introducing this change as part of a larger, platform-level update in the Pixel's quarterly Feature Drop, changes many phonemakers may not choose to integrate until Android 11. Read More
The December 2019 update finally started rolling out for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL yesterday. If you're among those impatiently tapping the "check for updates" button to no avail, you can now download the images manually and install them yourself from a computer, as OTA and factory image files have been posted by Google. Read More