Android 7.1 is upon us – at least it is if you count the oddball mix-and-match of having an "official" version of 7.1 on Pixel phones and a "developer preview" for a few other Nexus devices. Now that the Pixels are out, source code has also been released for Android 7.1.0 on AOSP. It comes as little surprise that we don't have an official release of the 7.1.1 source code that went out to Nexus devices since they are still considered developer previews, but they're probably not terribly different. So now it's time to dig through for some interesting and unusual hints about what unusual changes have been made in this version that we didn't already know about. Read More
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are great phones (here are some great things about them). But there are things about it that are... not as great. Let's run through our top (bottom?) five.
#1 They're really expensive
$650 - that's the starting price of the Google Pixel. It is also, you'll note, the starting price of the iPhone 7. In fact, every model of the Pixel and Pixel XL matches exactly the MSRP of its Apple competitor.
- Pixel 32GB, iPhone 7 32GB: $649
- Pixel 128GB, iPhone 7 128GB: $749
- Pixel XL 32GB, iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769
- Pixel XL 128GB, iPhone 7 Plus 128GB: $869
The only difference is that Google doesn't offer a 256GB SKU. Read More
On the outside, Google's Pixel phones look an awful lot like Apple's flagship. But what about on the inside? iFixit has a hallowed tradition of taking apart every new major smartphone (and other tech products), and determining how repairable it is. iFixit has posted their teardown of the Google Pixel XL, and there are some small surprises.
In their attempt to free the display from the phone's assembly, the OLED panel separated from the glass "a little too easily for our liking." This resulted in a broken OLED panel, and no doubt is a sign the Pixel is a bit hard to dig into. Read More
Let's face it, not everyone's first thought when they have a technical problem is to Google it. You might be the designated 'tech person' for your family or friends, making sure granny doesn't get malware on her dusty Windows XP desktop. Some people need an actual person to help them, and that's completely okay - that's where Google Support Services comes in.
One of the Pixel's exclusive features is 24/7 support straight from the Settings app, which even allows support agents to control your device (if you allow them) if needed. Now Google has published the Google Support Services application to the Play Store, to allow updates without new system updates. Read More
Ah, the iPhone 6 Plus. Not only was it Apple's first phablet, but after many owners realized that their shiny, huge new iPhones were bending in their pockets, it also became the phone that truly introduced bend tests to the world.
YouTuber Zack from JerryRigEverything performs durability tests on almost every flagship smartphone that gets globally released, and when the world saw him do one (and then another) on a Nexus 6P, it was shocked at the Huawei-built device's seemingly twig-like snapping. Now, Zack has posted a video of himself testing the Google Pixel's durability, and its performance in this arena is definitely more impressive than last year's Google flagship's. Read More
With prices starting from $649, the new Pixel phones definitely can't be considered inexpensive, and fixing or replacing a cracked screen or rear glass panel could cost a decent bit of change. To protect your shiny new investment, why not grab a high quality case? Spigen, one of the most reputable case manufacturers, is offering its Rugged Armor case for the Pixel and Pixel XL at just $12.99 and $13.99, respectively, via eBay's Daily Deals. Read More
Have a Pixel? Take a closer look at your SIM tray - Google's left a note. Specifically: its address. As though to make it really, really, really clear that this is the Phone by Google, Google has printed its address in Mountain View... on the SIM tray. Which is random. But hey, Google. Here's a closer look at the tray from the Quite black model.
I don't know why Google's address is on the SIM tray, but it is. Also, hopefully no one sends a lost Pixel to Google because they assume this is some obscure way to identify the owner's address. Read More
Google has posted the first set of factory images for the Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) on its developer site, along with driver binaries for the devices. Three image versions are available: NDE63H, NDE63L, and NDE63P. The third one began rolling out to Verizon devices today as an OTA update. The full OTA images are available here, as well.
That NDE63P update supposedly brings Wi-Fi fixes, so if you're on an earlier build and having trouble, this OTA may resolve it (I personally am still having 2.4/5GHz switching issues even on the 63P build).
You can download the factory images and the driver binaries at the links below which, yes, still contain 'Nexus' in the page title. Read More
Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are great smartphones - there's no doubt. But what makes them so great, exactly? Well, here are five things that I think help make that case with conviction.
#1: The camera
This is my favorite smartphone camera, full stop. No other smartphone camera captures images as quickly and reliably as this one - because the Pixel's camera starts capturing images the moment you launch it, and continuously does so in order to all but eliminate any shutter lag. It really does make the camera's shutter button feel completely instant, no matter the light level or if the phone's been sitting idle in your pocket for an hour. Read More