Android Police

Pixel 2

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Google mimics iOS navigation gestures with hidden features in Android Q Pixel launcher

Android Ice Cream Sandwich was the first version of the operating system to introduce virtual navigation keys to phones, allowing manufacturers to dismiss physical ones. Although some decided to wait much longer to implement these, — I'm looking at you, Samsung — almost all Android devices nowadays have finally abandoned traditional buttons in favor of on-screen input. With the introduction of the iPhone X, Apple wanted to maximize screen space and therefore designed an ingenious swiping-based navigation system, that didn't require the need for buttons. With Pie, Google took its stab at it, but didn't quite make up its mind between using keys or gestures and instead went for a combination of both.

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Pixel Call Screen comes to Canada as a beta

Announced along with the Pixel 3, Call Screen lets you screen phone calls before you answer them, using Google's Assistant AI to ask who the caller is and what they want. It's excellent for avoiding those pesky spam callers and interruptions from unknown numbers. Call Screen has been available on all generations of Pixels in the US for a couple of months, recently added volume controls to hear the caller and saved transcripts, and now the feature is launching in beta in Canada.

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Android Q Beta registration is going live

Beta registration for Android Q is going live as we speak. Some have already been able to register their devices and receive OTAs, while others are still seeing the old landing page. Either way, if mucking about in ADB or unlocking your bootloader doesn't appeal to you, this method is a bit easier.

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Download the Android Q beta for your Pixel phone now (all models)

After a bit of hand-wringing (sorry about that) Android Q is finally, actually here. This latest version may still lack a formal, dessert-themed name, but it's now available for all Pixel phones — including the nearly three-year-old 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL. Both factory images and sideloadable OTAs are live.

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Google's USB-C 18W charger drops below $15 ($20 off)

Google's fast charger, originally designed to power up Pixel smartphones, has been available on the company's store since 2016. It's been selling for $35 ever since but Walmart is currently offering it for less than $15, which is a fair bargain if you're looking to reduce your device's charging time.

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Pixel 3 March OTA update may speed up the terribly slow camera

Right on schedule, Google has just pushed out OTA and factory image downloads for the latest March updates to its Pixel line. Unlike last month, we've also got a pile of functional patches for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL which include improved storage performance and better "startup and responsiveness of [the] Camera app." Reports also indicate the update is rolling out already via the traditional means.

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Pixel phones can now toggle devices settings right from search results

Slices are one of the lesser-known feature additions in Android Pie, offering shortcuts to features inside apps. You've probably seen them in the app drawer on Pixel devices. Now, Slices are popping up in another place. Google is using Slices to surface settings controls inside the search UI on Pixel phones—no more digging into the settings.

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Charm your Valentine with the Love AR Playmoji pack for Google Pixel

Google Playground's stickers and Playmojis are pretty fun, and the timely Childish Gambino drop likely brought more attention to the Pixel's AR features. It makes sense, then, that Valentine's Day arrives with another new pack, predictably all pink and heart-shaped.

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It's Pixel update time: February's images are available to download

It's that time of the month: Google's Pixel updates are landing. Although OTAs don't appear to be rolling out via the traditional means just yet, Google has posted both OTA files and factory images to the usual locations for your side-loading pleasure.

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Woo your valentine with these Google Store deals, including Pixel 2 and lots of smart home tech

Valentine's Day is coming up and you still don't know what to get your significant other? Think no more; Google has you covered with bundles and special deals on the Pixel 2, several connected home devices, and accessories.

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