Google launched the new Pixel phones with Android 8.0, which is what last year's Pixel's have been running since the update. A new version of Oreo is on the way, though, and you can try it right now. Google has launched a developer preview for Android 8.1. As usual, it's supported on recent Google devices and can be installed in two ways. Read More
File this under bug or under the inexplicable decision column. For the longest time, Android has had an option under WiFi settings that lets you change the default behavior (always on) to turn off WiFi during sleep all the time or only when it's not charging. Read More
Google Lens has been a long time coming since its announcement at I/O in May. It officially launched with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL and yesterday it also started rolling to the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL. However, that was and still is only in the Photos app. Lens, if you recall, should work both for Photos you've already taken but also for instantaneous visual searches in Assistant without requiring you take a photo first.
The latter part isn't live yet and everyone's been wondering why. The answer came a few days ago by way of two Googlers on Twitter who explained that the Assistant integration of Lens is still in the making and will be live "in the next few weeks." It seems that it's still not ready to go live, even as a Preview, and requires a bit more polishing before its grand debut. Read More
The last time Google made new alarm, notification, and ringtone sounds for Android was for the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition, because Google has done the same thing for this year's Pixels. We've also extracted them from a Pixel 2 XL, so you can use them on your own device. Read More
I've been using the Google Pixel 2 XL now for over a week. Its predecessor, the 2016 Pixel XL, is what I called the best Android phone ever six months after its release. I'm fairly certain that the 2 XL will take the original's title, at least in my opinion, without issue.
Before flaws, refinements
Around the internet, I am seeing a lot of revisionist history claiming the original Pixel XL was essentially a no-compromise, highly polished smartphone. Here's the thing: it wasn't.
The original Pixel had significant flaws, and in spite of them, I still thought it was the best smartphone I'd ever used. Read More
Google makes updated Android builds available for its devices every month, and the time has come for October's downloads to go live for Google's new phones. You can grab the system images or OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices, but not all of them are actually October patches. Google's latest and greatest phones are still only on the September security patch. Read More
Shipping delays on Pixel phones are nothing new. It took months for Google to get out from under the backlog for the original Pixel. This time, the white models seem to be in particularly short supply. Several people who ordered the smaller Pixel 2 in white are getting notices from Google that their orders have been pushed back by a month, but they are getting a small token of apology from Google. Read More
We knew it was eventually coming, but it would appear that the Pixel 2 phones have yet another surprise hidden in them. Right now, supported Bluetooth devices on the Pixel 2 and 2XL are able to report and display their battery level. Unfortunately, checking that Bluetooth battery level on both the new phones isn't quite as easy as glancing at an ongoing notification, but there are a few different ways you can see it. Read More
One of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's highlight features is the Active Edge squeezable frame. By default, the squeezing motion will activate Google Assistant, and Google doesn't allow you to make it trigger anything else. But just as it only took developers a few days to circumvent the issue with the Galaxy S8's Bixby button, we've already got a workaround courtesy of an update to an app called Button Mapper by flar2. Read More
The Portrait mode on the new Pixel 2 phones is impressive. With just a single camera, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are able to mimic a convincing depth of field effect, like that created by much larger hardware. It isn't quite as good as an SLR, but it's a reasonable approximation. And if you were interested in exactly how it works, we've put together an explanation. Read More