Ambient Mode lets you choose what your Google screens — Android TVs, Chromecasts, and smart displays — show when they're idle; it's basically a slideshow screensaver. Google's started taking the opportunity to do a little subtle advertising for its Pixel phones: a new Captured on Pixel photo category is rolling out as an Ambient Mode option.
We were all expecting the Pixel 4a to be a thing by now, but 2020 has derailed everyone's plans. Google submitted the Pixel 4a to the FCC a while back, and now that filing is available for all to see. Admittedly, there's not a lot to see, but we'll take what we can get at this point.
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For some reason, Pixel phones tend to exhibit the strangestbugs, and we might have just run into yet another weird one. Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners have been reporting for more than two years that some images available through the Google Wallpapers app make their SystemUI crash repeatedly to the point of a device shutdown. With no chance to change the wallpaper in that timeframe, they have to factory reset their devices to make them functional again.
I've been very clear about my love for Samsung's One UI, but not everyone feels the same way, preferring a more Pixel-like experience. Thankfully due to the inherent flexibility Android affords, that's something easily accomplished. I'll be using my S20 Ultra for this demonstration, but these steps can be used on any Samsung device running One UI 2.0.
The most substantial Pixel 4a leak we've seen so far came in the form of a video review from Cuban site TechnoLike Plus, and the same source has released a new video on YouTube with performance benchmarks. Thankfully, the 4a compares favorably with the 3a and other recent Pixels, so we can expect a solid experience when the new phone eventually launches.
If you asked anyone who owned the stage at the launch event for the Pixel 4 last fall, you'd get one answer: That guy who demoed the cameras. That guy is Marc Levoy, and he's been at the head of the Google Pixel camera team for several years. Now, he's gone, according to a new report from The Information, as is long-time smartphone lead at Google Mario Queiroz.
Levoy allegedly departed the company back in March. Neither Levoy nor Google commented upon the move, but that won't stop endless speculation about just what led to it. My guess? It's really not fun to be the all-star running back on a team that consistently fails to make the playoffs.
Google's hardware czar, Rick Osterloh, has walked an entire Earth diameter while wearing a Fitbit. We know this because he was good enough to share a screenshot of the "Earth" badge on Twitter today. We don't care very much about Osterloh's fitness goals (good for him, though). What we do care about is that the screenshot in question was almost certainly taken on the Pixel 4a.
The OnePlus 8 series is finally here, with two models to choose from and a higher price tag than ever. Meanwhile, Google's Pixel 4 has been on the market for around six months, but a new model is likely going to arrive in the fall. If you're looking to replace your phone, it might be tough to decide whether to buy the OnePlus 8 now, or wait for the Pixel 5 later this year.
Google's first-generation Pixel Buds didn't quite live up to their initial promise, but we're hoping the second-gen earbuds will represent a significant improvement. Announced at the Pixel 4 hardware event in October 2019, we've had to wait a while for them to eventually become available, but it looks like their release is almost upon us. A new app needed to make the most of them is now available on the Play Store.