Technology

Google Pixel 4 And 3a Spotted Again In AOSP

Google Pixel 4
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Google’s Pixel phones are among the most-anticipated devices each year now. Although there is still some time before Google is expected to announce its next-gen Pixel phones, the rumors mill is already running at full speed. Now Google itself has accidentally confirmed the existence of the Pixel 4.

Pixel 4 appears in AOSP

The Google Pixel 4 was spotted yesterday in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with another device, often referred to as the Pixel 3a. This is the second time this month that a Pixel 4 reference has been found in AOSP, according to 9to5google. The tech blog reports that new code was posted to the Android Gerrit source code management section under the title “Disable Driver Preloading for Pixel 3a and 4.”

The Google Pixel 4 was mentioned in reference to ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine). The post stated that driver preloading must be disabled for ANGLE and that this has been done for the Pixel 2 and 3, but not for the 3a and 4. Google developed ANGLE to ensure compatibility of the graphics code between different types of devices.

Last week’s reference to the Pixel 4 was found in the AOSP discussion section. A developer said they were testing new software for the Pixel 3, and if the results went as expected, they would move on to the Pixel 4.

“The plan was to first deploy this on Pixel 3 and make sure that everything actually works. Then move on to Pixel 4 and so on. If I had a Pixel 4 device, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with 4.9 in the first place,” the developer said, according to 9to5google.

Pixel 3a also in development

Such mentions of the Google Pixel 4 suggest the handset is already in development and some developers may even have access to it. Other than this, such references don’t reveal anything else, including any specifications, hardware changes, or even the code-name of the device.

This isn’t the first time details about the Pixel 3a have been leaked either. In one instance, the Google Play Developer Console apparently listed the phone’s specs under the code-names “Bonito” and “Sargo.”

These references come as good news for Pixel fans, who may have been concerned by a recent Business Insider report claiming that Google was planning to reduce the headcount of its  hardware division by “dozens of employees.” Now that we know the Google Pixel 4 and 3a are in development, it seems the job cut could be related to Google’s laptop and tablet teams instead.

What to expect from the Google Pixel 4

Not much is known about the Pixel 4 devices in terms of specifications. However, a Geekbench listing earlier this year referenced a phone code-named “Google Coral.” The listing didn’t mention what kind of device it was, whether a phone or a Chromebook, but many believe it to be a new Pixel device.

Since the Pixel 3a has shown up with the code-names “Bonito” and “Sargo,” there is a good chance the Google Coral is the Pixel 4. The device is benchmarked, meaning it is almost ready and could be under beta testing. It was listed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 7-nanometer octa-core chipset, 6 GB of RAM and Android Q.

As far as other specs, the next-gen Pixel devices are almost certain to run on Android Q. The devices could also support dual-SIM functionality, including eSIM. Moreover, the dual-SIM functionality could allow both the eSIM and physical SIM card to work at the same time.

Last month @PhoneDesigner released image renderings of the Google Pixel 4 based on current rumors. The images of the Pixel 4 XL showed a dual-lens camera setup on the back and a dual-lens selfie camera. The camera cut-out appeared very similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S10+. However, the Pixel 4 was shown to have only one camera hole in the front.

Google’s Pixel 4 phones are not expected to be much different from the last generation. According to the images, the only real difference appears to be the use of a camera hole instead of a notch. Moreover, the Pixel phones shown in the images do not feature a truly bezel-less display, although they are an improvement over the Pixel 3 phones.

We can also expect Google to ditch the headphone jack and switch to USB-C for the next-gen Pixel phones. The renderings show the phone in the usual white color.