The Pixel and Pixel XL are the best phones Google has ever made. Good luck actually buying one, though. This is something we've been able to say about every phone Google has released, but the Pixel's supply issues seem much more pervasive than any of the Nexus phones were. After nearly five months on sale, the Pixel just went out of stock on the Google Store yet again. Read More
Corroborating information provided to us by a source, we can share the first public sighting of Google's next-generation Pixel phones: in the Android Open Source Project gerrit (and yes, that means it's running Android). We've only seen one of the phones - walleye - which we believe will be the smaller of Google's new Pixel devices. Muskie, the larger of the two, has not yet appeared. (For reference, last year, we only ever saw Marlin in the AOSP gerrit - there's no guarantee Muskie will ever show up there.)
At this point, we don't have any more information about the devices that we are yet confident enough to share. Read More
When the customer threads over on the Google Support Forum start to get hundreds of replies deep, you know there's a serious problem afoot. This one is affecting the Pixel and Pixel XL, and apparently occurring to a large enough subset of owners that Google is taking its response more seriously than the usual bug. Owners are reporting complete failure of one or more of their microphones, sometimes causing a total audio input block, sometimes occasionally working with the camera app while recording video. Read More
No Android phone is without issues, and the Google Pixel is certainly no exception. One of the problems reported was a strange bug related to sending screenshots over MMS. If someone sent a screenshot from an iPhone 7 Plus to a Pixel in a text, regardless of the SMS app being used on the Pixel, the screenshot would be displayed as a garbled mess (seen above). Read More
Factory images for the March 2017 security update for most supported Pixel and Nexus devices are now up on Google's developer sites here and here. That includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 9 (+LTE), and Nexus 6. Builds for the Pixels are NOF27B for all variants except devices on Rogers, which should use build NOF27C.
The Nexus Player appears to be left out of the March updates at this point.
You can find the accompanying security bulletin here, which as usual lists a significant number of security threats that have now been eliminated. Read More
While Google and Samsung have long sought to talk up their various partnerships over the years, there is little doubt for me that 2017 will be the year in which the two giants go after one another more aggressively than ever before in their history. Samsung actively presents a threat to Android's diversity, and Google must step in to stem the bleeding of an increasingly unprofitable device ecosystem. Samsung's challenges in wearables, television, and smart home also are a major cause for concern to Google as Samsung increasingly leverages its smartphone dominance.
Samsung and Google have been close collaborators from the days of the original Galaxy S, a phone launched almost seven years ago. Read More
Speaking to AndroidPIT, Google's head of hardware Rick Osterloh confirmed a new Pixel phone is coming this year, and that it will stay "premium." Osterloh added that Google had no interest in producing a low-cost Pixel device, saying the current ecosystem of hardware vendors serves that purpose just fine (he's not wrong).
At this time, we know very little about the new Pixel phone[s], though we have reason to believe there will still be two models based on evidence we've received from our own sources. For now, though, we have nothing else to share on our end.
It seems likely that Google will continue with the small-large formula it introduced with the Pixel and Pixel XL last year, which was itself a riff on Apple and now Samsung's own strategy with their premium-tier smartphones. Read More
Over the past week or so, hundreds of users have reported about a particularly annoying bug with Bluetooth on the Pixel and Pixel XL. For seemingly no reason at all, Bluetooth will suddenly turn off. It can be turned back on just fine, but it will later shut itself off again. Read More
Google regularly rolls out updates to the dialer app on its phones via the Play Store. In the most recent update, the changelog claims "bug fixes," but many users are reporting it introduced a new bug. Dozens of reviews on the Play Store say the February 10th update broke Bluetooth calling. Read More
Google's Pixel and Pixel XL phones are sold in three colors - Very Silver, Quite Black, and Really Blue. While the last color is certainly the most eye-catching, it's only been available in the United States. Google originally stated that the model would only be a temporary US exclusive, and now we are seeing it arrive in other countries - first in Canada with Rogers, and now the UK with EE. Read More