The Pixel 4a follows the Henry Ford mantra of "you can have it in any color, so long as it is black." But a 3D render that 9to5Google was able to dig up in the Google Store site shows that Google was heavily considering a light blue color at some point, but axed it before production.
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.
The Google Pixel 4a made waves as a budget champ with its remarkable camera and reasonable launch price in the US. But those waves haven’t quite hit the international shores as yet since the phone doesn’t ship until October in many parts of the world. In the UK, Google is using this intervening time to hype up its latest mid-ranger by handing out free gifts containing the Pixel 4a and more.
The Google Pixel 4a and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra launched within a few weeks of each other, but they could not be more different Android phones. The Note20 Ultra is a humongous beast of a phone with all the latest and greatest hardware and an unsurprising $1,300 price tag. The Pixel 4a is smaller, less powerful, and only costs $350. And yet, Google's camera processing is so good that it can clobber phones that cost several times more. Is the Note20 Ultra one of them? Well, it depends on what you want out of a phone camera, but there is not a $1,000 gap in photo quality here.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Putting Android and iOS side by side in the smartphone arena has never been easy. While big software differences still separate the platforms in fundamental ways, even things like hardware just don't mean the same thing when you're comparing an iPhone to an Android phone. Even for us—people who are generally familiar with both—it can be difficult at times to explain what can sound like subtle contrasts end up painting two wildly different pictures. We obviously have a clear agenda when it comes to which platform is better, even if the 2020 iPhone SE seriously wowed us. But with the Pixel 4a, Google fired back in a more effective way than I think any of us had necessarily predicted.
While most companies try to hide display cutouts with wallpapers, seemingly as as something to be ashamed of, Google took the route of highlighting the Pixel 4a's pinhole cutout as a feature in its series of fun new wallpapers for the phone. Unfortunately, the latest Android 11 Beta (which the Pixel 4a just got) applies a crop to wallpapers for a new zoomed-in animation it does when entering the multitasking menu or app drawer, and that breaks all the cleverly designed wallpapers.
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.
Over the better part of the last week, we've been investigating the curious case of the Pixel 4a and Google's Playground app. Interestingly, while the Pixel 4a ships with Playground pre-installed, the feature isn't actually available in the built-in camera app, as it is on other Pixel devices. According to Google, that's intentional, and while Playground will continue to be supported on previous devices, Google is moving beyond the app with its future AR experiences.