Google made an entirely new launcher for its Pixel devices, and it's got a lot of cool features such as a swipe gesture to open your app drawer and an entire home screen page dedicated to Google search. We've already shown you how to get this so-called Pixel Launcher on other devices, but there was always one feature that was missing.
Android Police reported that the upcoming Nexus phones would be getting an exclusive launcher this year, dubbed the "Nexus Launcher." This rumored home screen app was said to feature Google Now integration, a swipe-up app drawer gesture, and a few other finishing touches.
When it comes to modding an Android device, a custom kernel can take you farther than almost anything else. Most offer the ability to overclock your processor for performance gains, change your CPU governor, or even under-volt to increase battery life, among other features.
In the past, some of Google's Nexus devices have had root methods even before the phones hit shelves. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are basically Nexus devices from a software standpoint, so why have we gone more than a week since release without a working root method or custom recovery?
Reading through various internet forums, it certainly sounds like the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are attracting more iPhone users than any of Google's previous Nexus devices. The sales figures seem to back that up, too, as the Pixel is outpacing last year's Nexus 6P, and pre-order demand has exceeded Google's expectations, causing delays in shipments. (We reached out to Google but they wouldn't give us any specifics on sales numbers or numbers of switchers.)
It seems that fans of the Android open-source operating system are a bit peeved by some of the choices Google has made regarding the new #MadeByGoogle Pixel phones. And with good reason. The new phones are expensive, the Nexus line is dead, and some Redditors are speculating on whether or not the Pixel bootloaders may not be unlockable at all.
At an event in Mountain View, CA, and watched by fans via live stream on YouTube, Google announced a slew of new products today. Over the last few weeks, there was no shortage of rumors and leaks about what might be unveiled, but now the secrets are out.
Now that Android 7.1.1 has been released, several features that were previously exclusive to Google's new Pixel phones are now available on the Nexus 6P. However, Google seems to be holding back on the Pixel's best features, as things like the "Night Light" red screen filter, "Moves" gestures, Google Assistant, blue accent color, and the new solid navigation buttons are still only officially available on the Pixel.
News: This Guy Tested the Google Pixel XL Against the Nexus 6P (Camera Comparison, Google Assistant, & More)
Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are available for pre-order right now, but the general public won't start to get their hands on these devices for another week or two. Tech reporters got some hands-on time at Google's launch event on October 4th, but camera testing wasn't allowed, and the Wi-Fi coverage at the event was too flooded for real-world performance reviews.
Now that Google has announced its new Pixel smartphones, folks who rushed to buy an iPhone 7 might be experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse. The new Pixel and Pixel XL are packed to the brim with cutting-edge features and top-notch hardware, and Google seems to be taking direct aim at the iPhone 7 with its Pixel marketing (and their groan-worthy jokes during the keynote).
Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL flagships are some very powerful smartphones, but as with any high-tech gadget, they're only as capable as the user allows them to be. So if you're a proud new Pixel owner, it's time to bone up on a few new features to help get the most out of your device.
When it comes to modifying Android, the single, most powerful tool available is TWRP custom recovery. It's even more capable than simple root access when it comes to changing the look and feel of your software, and you can even use TWRP to root your device in a few simple steps.
As if you needed another example of Android's open-source awesomeness, before the Pixel phones were even released, a flashable ZIP that will give you almost all of Google's Pixel-exclusive features on other devices appeared.
Emoji, emojis, smilies, or smileys—whatever you want to call them, those little yellow icons have firmly implanted themselves in the human lexicon. However, just like with localized languages and dialects, emoji can be very different from one another depending on the device or operating system you're using.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have an exclusive set of navigation buttons that you can't get on any other device without some tinkering. But aside from just being solid, filled-in shapes, the real treat in the Pixel's nav bar is the Google Assistant animation that gets activated by long-pressing the home button. The four colored dots that animate outward give you some visual feedback for triggering the Assistant, but really, it's just a nice little touch.
The one big question remaining about Google's upcoming Pixel phones has finally been answered: Yes, the Pixel and Pixel XL have unlockable bootloaders—at least, if you buy directly from Google.
Google has a new smartphone, and if you own a TV or a computer, you've almost certainly heard about it. The ad campaign for the Pixel and Pixel XL is approaching iPhone levels of omnipresence, as Google has reportedly spent over $3.2 million on marketing, with that number expected to skyrocket in the coming months.
There were some new hurdles to clear, but legendary root developer Chainfire has finally created a root method for Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL flagships. The utility, called CF-Root, involves sending one Fastboot command that makes all of the necessary root tweaks to Android's file system, so it's about as easy as it gets.
As we first reported here on Gadget Hacks, Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones come with an unlockable bootloader, with the exception of models sold by Verizon.
The Pixel XL reportedly uses the same exact display panel as the Galaxy S7 Edge, but according to third-party testing, Samsung's flagship gets at least ten percent brighter than Google's. The same can be said of the regular Pixel, which tops out just shy of its bigger brother's brightness rating.
As we reported first here on Gadget Hacks, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL have unlockable bootloaders, with the exception of models purchased from Verizon. This means that once the TWRP custom recovery is installed, you can flash ZIPs and even root your device in a few taps—as long as you unlock the bootloader beforehand.
As the first phones to be made by Google, the new Pixel and Pixel XL have several slick customizations that you won't find on any other Android device. There's tons of functional stuff like the new Google Assistant and a much-improved camera app, but also a few aesthetic tweaks to help class up the joint.
If you just can't wait to see the Pixel and Pixel XL, the new Google-branded smartphones expected to be announced tomorrow, you're in luck. After weeks of rumors and blurry images, a smartphone sales company called Carphone Warehouse just accidentally dropped the entire ball. The UK business accidentally set the product pages for the Pixel and Pixel XL live a couple days early, and for just long enough for them to be archived before they were taken down.
Many modern Android devices use a display technology called AMOLED. These screens differ from traditional LCD displays in that each pixel emits its own light, so a backlight is not required. Even better, when rendering a black element on the screen, AMOLED displays simply don't light up the associated pixels, meaning virtually no power is used. Since black pixels use little to no power on an AMOLED screen, more black pixels means lower battery consumption.
Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL flagship phones are a rousing success, with consumers praising the fluid user experience and overall performance as two of the devices' biggest strengths. But even though Google may have knocked it out of the park with a set of Apple-like smartphones that "just work," there's still room for improvement in a few areas.
In recent weeks, thousands of Nexus 6P users have reported that their devices are shutting down with 30% or more battery life remaining. The phones won't start back up until they're plugged into a charger, so it's as if the battery completely dies even though there is plenty of juice left.
Every smartphone manufacturer is susceptible to defects, but after dropping a good chunk of change on a shiny new device, we as consumers have little tolerance for such issues. We want our gadgets to be perfect in every regard, so even the tiniest flaw is irksome.
The brand new Pixel and Pixel XL, Google's first direct attempts at taking on the iPhone, haven't rolled out exactly how Google would have liked. The devices have already had more than their fair share of issues, starting with the camera, and now extending to the built-in speaker. The camera issues were marked as "solved" by Google, but the lens flare is still very much there, just not as prominent.
Google makes Android, but now, Google makes its own phones, too. Until this point, they've always stayed on the software side of things and let Samsung and friends handle the hardware, but their new Pixel phones are changing all of that.
Google's new Pixel phones are shaking things up in the world of Android, as the Nexus line is no more, and the Mountain View tech giant has now become a smartphone OEM. The long-term impact of these moves remains to be seen, but we already know that Google, the manufacturer, will be adding extra software and UI features to the version of Android that ships with its Pixels.
Google worked with design agency B-Reel to create some unique wallpapers for its Pixel and Pixel XL flagships, and the end result is quite stunning. These "Live Earth" wallpapers, as they're called, combine Google Earth's high-def satellite imagery with a 3D parallax effect that changes perspective as you move between screens.
Walking while taking a video is always a pain. But it doesn't have to be, especially with Google's new Pixel smartphone and its new and improved Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) feature. A new video, released on Reddit, pitted the Pixel's EIS against the Nexus 6P with some incredible results.
The Pixel and Pixel XL come with an awesome data-saving feature called Wi-Fi Assistant that automatically connects to open internet hotspots, then creates a secure VPN on your device to keep your data safe.
Thanks to LlabTooFeR's Pixel system image leak, we're starting to see a lot of the features from Google's upcoming smartphones ported to other Android devices. Case in point: Charles Chow at Chromloop was able to pull the brand new camera app out of the Pixel's firmware and turn it into an installable APK.
Google's own devices have always been the first to get new Android features—but unlike the Nexus series, this year's Pixel phones have a handful of exclusive tweaks that were never intended to trickle down to other devices once the newer Android version rolled out to them. These Pixel exclusives include the Google Assistant, a new launcher, and, of course, a unique set of on-screen navigation buttons.
Now that Google's new Pixel phones have a working root method and custom recovery, the mods are starting to pour in. In fact, developer CZ Eddie has already recreated one of our favorite customization tweaks for the Pixel XL—a set of modified framework files that will center your status bar clock.
The reviews for the Google Pixel phone have hit the web. There's a lot of praise, but not all are so positive. We've collected some of the best takes on the new devices from the top tech sites around.
Everyone's been raving about the Pixel's top-notch camera, and the acclaim is well-deserved. The main difference between Google's new camera software on their Pixel phones and the older software on their Nexus devices is that the Pixel has almost no perceptible lag between tapping the shutter button and the image being captured—even with HDR+ mode enabled.
Now that Android Nougat lets you add your own custom Quick Settings tiles, your pull-down menu is probably getting a lot more crowded than it used to be, with all sorts of new and useful toggles. But the trouble is, you can only add up to nine entries before your Quick Settings tiles spill over into a second pane that you have to access by swiping, and that's not exactly "quick."
Are we about to witness the future of Android OS? Of Google? Of the entire smartphone ecosystem?! Google has just turned 18 today (right?), Android just had its 8th birthday, and the rumor mill is firing on all cylinders in the lead-up to the October 4 launch event where they'll announce their latest hardware and software products.