Announced and then released in October, both the Google Pixel and the larger Pixel XL are Google’s flagship Android handsets. Both devices have replaced the Nexus line of Android handsets and were developed for Google by HTC. Bearing the hallmarks of high-quality devices, they have become the desired Android phones to own since the demise of the Note 7. However, Google might not have been forthcoming with all of the features of these handsets.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL react to magnets?
If you trawl through the reported and printed features of both handsets, you will undoubtedly be impressed. However, it has come to light that Google has been holding some information back–information which reveals the existence of a switch in both phones which reacts to the proximity of a magnet.
You may remember that we mentioned that these handsets were created for Google by HTC. Due to this, each has a passing resemblance to the HTC 10 flagship smartphone, which also contains a switch that can be activated by a magnet.
In fact, many smartphones from different manufacturers have a magnetically-activated switch. This allows them to pair with cases that have embedded magnets in them, which, when flipped open or closed, display information.
Left in the dark
So why has Google failed to reveal the existence of magnets in its Pixel range? Right now the tech giant has failed to respond to questions about this, which can only leave speculations. While there could be many reasons, we can think of three that may be plausible:
1) Seeing as HTC created the handsets, they weren’t built from scratch. Instead, Google authorized the use of an existing handset that could be simply reskinned and brought to market quickly.
2) Google is developing its own line of cases which will use the magnets found in the Pixel and Pixel XL. Additionally, it could be working with third-party manufacturers to create cases and other accessories to use this feature.
3) It’s possible that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL have some kind of future upgrade coming. This hidden feature could be the catalyst for a new range of accessories which will provide greater interactivity.
Locating and triggering the switch
While there is no case to try the magnet switch out, you can still activate it. The magnet is located on the back of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL near the “G” logo. If you place a magnet near the logo or at the front in the corresponding area, the switch will activate. Unfortunately, activating the magnet switch only turns on the screen; removing it does not turn it off again.
Now that everyone knows about the switch, there could be a glut of Google Pixel accessories heading to market. However, the problem is that without Google revealing what it’s for, owners around the world are going to ask the questions like, “Is this found on all of Google’s handsets? Or is this something like an aberration that’s not meant to be there?”