Google's most recent December Feature Drop delivered plenty of new features for the company's Pixel phones. But one specific change is still missing for many device owners: the new grid size options in the Pixel launcher. I know it sounds pretty minor, but a surprising number of people were looking forward to the feature, which allows you to set custom grid sizes and adjust the density of icons on your Pixel's home screen. It can even help with accessibility for those without much in the way of fine motor control. But, unfortunately, the option still isn't present for everyone.
The Pixel 5 has been a controversial phone for Google, sacrificing some flagship gloss in exchange for a lower price. Starting back with the Pixel 2, Google's phones have had some of the best haptics available, and it looked like the Pixel 5 would continue that tradition. While it does for the most part, there's one minor quirk that's starting to drive us a little crazy.
Pixel phones offer the best of Google — bugs and all. The flagship Pixel 5 is packed with a lot of good stuff, but it also occasionally seems to include a more frustrating feature: a bug that makes all system sounds play at maximum volume no matter how soft you try to set them.
January patches for Google's Pixels are now live, together with a decent set of functional patch notes. Outside your usual security improvements, that means Pixel owners can also look forward to a handful of fixes, including some sound fixes for the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, better automatic brightness on this year's phones, plus call improvements on certain MVNOs, and auto-rotation improvements across the whole currently supported Pixel lineup — no longer including the Pixel 2.
We live in a 24/7 world that has taken "work from home" to a whole new meaning and yet, Google seems to think we all live, work, and sleep the same hours. At least, that's what its Pixel phones with adaptive charging seem to think. That probably needs to change.
Astrophotography has been a favorite among Pixel users since its release in 2019, and it's continued to get better as Google's camera software evolves. When the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G launched with an ultra-wide camera, many were excited to see what it would be able to do in astro mode. Sadly, the quality was lacking, and now Google has disabled its use on this lens.
Polls have closed for the 2020 Android Police Readers Choice Smartphone of the Year. The winner, after a week of voting and over 17,000 votes, is the Google Pixel 5, beating out the Pixel 4a in second place and Galaxy S20 FE in third.
Google recently released a big update for its Pixel camera, and it's packed with exciting new features, like a storage saver, better video effects, and some Pixel 5 and 4a 5G exclusives. But there's more — improvements to the existing framing hints are also rolling out. You may have already noticed that there are now two level indicators or two crosshairs, a familiar white variant and a new yellow one. You can use these to get perfectly level shots and top-down pictures. Here's how you do it.
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.
In a case of déjà vu, a minority of Pixel 5 owners are starting to report issues with all of their phone's various on-device sensors, including the compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. Based on the details provided, this sounds like the same issue that some prior Pixel phones were plagued by, which may have been caused by a corrupted "persist" partition. However, Google tells us that a fix for several sensor issues across all Pixel devices was included in the December 2020 patch, and some of those affected claim the update fixes their problem.