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Pixel 4a

11

Google built a rig with dozens of cameras and hundreds of LED lights to make Portrait Lighting possible on Pixels

Google built a rig with dozens of cameras and hundreds of LED lights to make Portrait Lighting possible on Pixels

Google produces some of the best still photography with its Pixel phones, but its method is more than just magic. Instead, it's the result of hard technical labor and lots of machine learning models. When Google introduced a refined portrait mode on the Pixel 3, it utilized a wacky 5-phone case to train its ML models — but the rig the company created to enable its new Portrait Light mode might be even wilder.

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7

Hands-on: The latest Pixel Feature Drop makes old Pixels feel new again

Hands-on: The latest Pixel Feature Drop makes old Pixels feel new again

Google announced a new set of "Pixel Drop" features yesterday, adding a long list of capabilities to its existing devices. Well, sort of. As usual, Google's definition of what counts as a "new" feature is suspect. Many of the features in this latest update have been available on newer members of the Pixel family, and others are just tweaks to the previous functionality. Let's dissect this update and see what's new and what's worth getting excited about.

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6

December 2020 security patches now rolling out for Google's Pixels

December 2020 security patches now rolling out for Google's Pixels

December updates (which include the recent Feature Drop changes) are starting to roll out for Google's Pixel phones — with one almost-expected exception. One day later, that includes the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, which are receiving their last planned update.

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11

Google's December Pixel Feature Drop lands today with too many features to count

Google's December Pixel Feature Drop lands today with too many features to count

December's Pixel Feature Drop is upon us, rolling out a handful of new features for the Pixel 3 and later Google devices. That includes familiar features trickling down from the Pixel 5 to older phones, like Hold For Me and Extreme Battery Saver, but also some new benefits, like an Adaptive Sound feature that leaked last week, in-app translations via the App Overview, extra home screen customization options, the ability to export your Now Playing song recognition history into YouTube Music playlists, and an Adaptive Connectivity feature to move between 4G and 5G based on the app you're using — and that's not even all of it.

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30

How to view your recent Pixel portrait photos with bokeh off

How to view your recent Pixel portrait photos with bokeh off

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 update to Google Camera version 8, 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 another one without it, the camera now only saves the bokeh variant. But you can still get the photo with the original background if you really need it — here's how.

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11

Google is gifting sets of Pixel art prints to superfans

Google is gifting sets of Pixel art prints to superfans

Today is Thanksgiving Day, and while a global pandemic spoils the festive spirit all around the country, Google is trying its best to make its most loyal fans happy. People who are part of the not-so-secret Superfan program are currently receiving emails telling them that they're in for a gift: Three high-quality prints of the Pixel 5, 4a 5G, and 4a.

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27

Google debuts new Barely Blue limited-edition color for Pixel 4a

Google debuts new Barely Blue limited-edition color for Pixel 4a

Google's Pixel 4a is a great phone at an fantastic price. Perhaps the only drawback was the limited color palette. As the old Ford adage goes: You could have it in any color you want, so long as it's black. That changes now, as Google is debuting a new, limited edition Barely Blue colorway for the Pixel 4a, on sale starting today.

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29

Gboard is rolling back Assistant-powered voice dictation for many

Gboard is rolling back Assistant-powered voice dictation for many

The new Google Assistant on the Pixel 4, 4a, and 5 is much faster and more capable than the regular voice control interface on other Android phones. It's tightly integrated with system functions, allowing you to use it to reply to messages and interact with apps without ever touching your screen. We also covered that the advanced Assistant can even power voice typing in Gboard. After a brief period of a wider rollout, it appears that Google is halting the update again and reverting back to the old voice typing experience for many.

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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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33

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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