Android Police

Pixel 2 XL

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Google designer Ivy Ross shows off prototypes of Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Home Mini, and more

Prototypes are always cool to see, but us consumers don't often get to do so. It's nice to take a look at how the designs of products evolve from the drawing board all the way to our homes, pockets, and backpacks. An interview with Google hardware designer Ivy Ross recently went up on The Keyword, and embedded within are photos of several Google products' prototypes.

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[Deal Alert] Save 50% on Pixel Buds ($79.50 off) with purchase of Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL on the Google Store

The Pixel Buds are priced exactly the same as Apple's AirPods at $159, but that's more than most people are willing to pony up for earbuds. If you were on the lookout for a discount and you've also been considering a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, perhaps the Google Store's latest deal of 50% off will entice you.

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Google is looking into Android 8.1 lockscreen swipe issues on Pixel devices

I'd wager that most owners of Pixel phones use the fingerprint sensors on the back to unlock their phones, but there are circumstances in which using the backup PIN, pattern, or password is necessary. Many Pixel owners, myself included, have noticed that it's become rather difficult to swipe the lockscreen up on Android 8.1 Oreo. Google is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

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[Deal Alert] Google's Pixel 2 cases on sale at Google Store, with a slight catch ($8-10 off)

All of Google's own cases for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are on sale at the Google Store, but the discounted prices could affect whether you receive free shipping on your order.

Google's Pixel 2 Live Cases and Artworks Live Cases are each discounted $8, from $40 to $32 for the "slim protection" versions, and $10 off "dual protection" from $50 to $40. Google's fabric cases also get the $8 discount to $32.

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Google is investigating Pixel 2 XL voice messaging bug affecting WhatsApp, Allo, and Telegram

The Pixel 2 XL has suffered from several issues since its launch, both hardware and software-related, just like pretty much any other consumer product of its kind. The latest bug to come to light is a curious one that affects the sound output level of a voice clip sent via a messaging app. According to a number of users on this Pixel User Community thread, this issue is limiting the volume level when recording voice messages on the Pixel 2 XL.

When you send a voice clip recorded on a phone suffering from the bug, the recipient gets a message with very low volume, even when their phone is turned up all the way.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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Get the Pixel 2's portrait mode on your first-gen Pixel phones, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X with this mod [APK Download]

Portrait mode became one of the most popular features for cameras in 2017. Apple's iPhone lineup, the Galaxy Note8, the OnePlus 5T, and even the Essential Phone have it in their camera apps. However, owners of older phones were left out of the fun. Luckily, serial Google Camera modder Charles Chow has created a modded Google Camera APK with portrait mode on board for the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X.

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The most (and least) popular devices used to browse Android Police in 2017

Last August, I published a list of the most and least popular smartphones and tablets used on Android Police. That post was surprisingly popular - and I've had repeated requests for a follow-up. Now that well over a year has passed, I think the time is right for a new installment, and one spanning a far greater time period than the month-long data set I used to compile the last version.

This time, I'll be showing you which devices were the most popular across the whole of 2017. And, of course, I'll show you some of the outliers, to give you a sense of how some devices have fallen (or never grown) from the ranks.

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Check out XDA's incredibly detailed analysis of the Pixel 2 XL's display

Sometimes you don't want to read up on how someone "feels" about a product. Everything's subjective, of course, and it's good to combine multiple viewpoints, but once in a while, it's nice to just sit down and examine the raw data, that way you can come to your own conclusions. And Dylan Raga over at XDA-Developers just assembled an intense and in-depth analysis of the Pixel 2 XL's display that's worth a read. At least, if you'd like to scratch that purely quantitative itch. 

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Opinion: Google has quietly become one of the world's most important hardware companies

As we say goodbye to 2017, I'd like you to think back to five years ago - specifically, Google five years ago. At that time, if I had told you Google was one of the world's most important consumer electronics manufacturers, you'd probably have laughed at me.

Mentally put yourself in 2012: Google's just announced the fourth Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, along with the Nexus 10 tablet. At Google I/O six months prior, it unveiled the Nexus Q - a device intended to be some sort of smart entertainment hub... and proceeded to cancel its public launch.

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