With the Pixel lineup, Google is trying to prove that Android devices can go head-to-head with the iPhone and Apple’s ecosystem of products. In 2023, Google launched its first Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. It’s also launching the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro as well as the Pixel Watch 2. The Pixel 7A supports the lineup as a lower-cost option. The Pixel Buds Pro have proven to be capable AirPods Pro competitors, and the Pixel Buds A-Series offer a lower-cost option for wireless earbuds.
Google’s Magic Editor is already capable of mind-bending photo retouching, but occasionally it’ll refuse to do certain edits. When this happens, it displays a vague message about violating Google’s AI terms.
It seems Google will soon be clearer about why Magic Editor sometimes abandons a task. Android Authority spotted strings in the Google Photos app about the tool being unable to manipulate “photos of ID cards, receipts, images with personally identifiable information, human faces, and body parts.”
When Google Keep got the ability to format notes, it only applied to new notes — you couldn’t format pre-update notes. 9to5Google reported today that Google is rolling out the ability to format your older notes as well.
I’m not seeing the feature on my Pixel 6, but the Google Workplace blog says the feature will be dispensed over potentially more than 15 days this month.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to format my old notes.
Google Photos on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro is changing the way it handles RAW files: they’re now stored in the main photos view rather than a separate folder. They’ll be backed up along with your JPEGs, and those big files will eat up your account storage fast. You’ll want to shoot RAW with discretion or turn off automatic backup altogether.
Powerful AI tools are changing how people work and play — and in the future, maybe all our AI editing will leave us with a half-true, picture perfect unreality of our lives.
My colleague Allison Johnson recently wrote about the new AI photo tools coming to the Google Pixel 8 and the philosophical questions surrounding them. Would you use these tools? How far is too far when it comes to optimizing your precious moments?
Google Pixel 8 phones manufactured in India will start to roll out next year. Google’s move is similar to what we’ve seen from Apple, which started producing iPhones there in 2017 as it diversified its production line beyond China. This year, for the first time, it had India-manufactured iPhone 15s for sale at launch.
Google didn’t say how many devices will be built there, but a report last year from The Information said it was soliciting bids from companies to build between 500k and 1 million devices, which could be as much as 20 percent of its estimated total.
Unfortunately, owners of older Pixel phones won’t get new features like Magic Editor or Pro Controls — those are reserved for the newest phones (with Pro Controls a Pixel 8 Pro exclusive).
A smart camera app plus processing features like Face Unblur and Best Take make the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro cameras especially good for one particular demographic: parents.
The new Pixel Watch 2 charges faster than the original, but after a new firmware update, it now charges much, much faster. Google says the original Pixel Watch will now take 45 minutes to reach 50 percent instead of 30, and 75 minutes to reach 80 percent. You can expect a full charge to take 110 minutes.
Meanwhile, it takes 30 minutes for the Pixel Watch 2 to hit 50 percent, and 75 min for a full charge. In practice, I never needed more than 45-60 minutes. Some folks have been disappointed by the second-gen watch’s switch to pin charging, but to me the faster charging is well worth it.
Did you know the Pixel Watch 2 was going to have UWB? Or that the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro would have higher clockspeeds? How about 8K video recording and 480fps slow-mo?
Kamila Wojciechowska and Mishaal Rahman, two of the foremost Android code sleuths, found all of the above and more. Every company’s phones tend to leak these days, but Google is batting some kind of record.
Not the Vegas one... the photo spheres that Google used to let you capture. They’ve been removed as a feature from the latest Pixels.
I’m told by reliable sources that I am the only person who ever used this feature. But I am here to insist: it was a good feature! Photo Spheres were a delightful way to step back into a space and time. I guess we’re back to taking really stretchy panoramas.
Pixel 8 reviews are live! So is the Pixel Watch 2 review! AI and cameras and Fitbit everywhere you look. We talked through them both, and then tried to figure out what to make of the new Chromebook Plus designation. Google gadgets: still here, and getting kind of good. Emphasis on kind of.
We tried to talk about gadgets, but ended up talking about the ethics of photography and why, as Nilay put it, “the market won’t correct for truth.” When does a photo become... something else? It’s a complicated question for a brand-new phone. We have some thoughts.
IDC VP Francisco Jeronimo posted this week that Google has sold 37.9 million Pixel phones globally since 2016. 9to5Google did some math concluding that the company sold about 10 million of them in the last 12 months — an improvement over its 2019 best of 7.2 million.
Samsung is reportedly “actively discussing” the possibility of going beyond five years of security updates, according to SamMobile. That’s noteworthy, if a little tepid, considering what just happened a few days ago over at Google.
We reached out to Samsung to ask if it’s considering software updates, too. It would be exciting to see the rest of Android world follow Google’s hopefully historic example.