APK Teardown Reveals New Google Pixel 2 Features

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Google Pixel 2 is only a couple of weeks away. The rumor mill is almost certain that the Pixel 2 would borrow an exciting new feature from HTC’s U11: The squeezable frame. A teardown of the Google app version 7.12 has confirmed this and many other Pixel 2 features. The APK teardown was conducted by folks at 9to5Google. The squeezable frame feature is called ‘Edge Sense’ on HTC U11, but Google will call it Active Edge.

Google Pixel 2 features you should look forward to

Since HTC will be manufacturing the smaller Google Pixel 2, we expected the device to borrow at least a few things from the Taiwanese company. The larger Pixel XL 2 would be manufactured by LG Electronics. 9to5Google decompiled the latest version of Google app to see the lines of code that offer hints at the Google Pixel 2 features. Don’t forget that the search engine giant could decide to ditch any of these features from the final version.

The publication says users will be able to invoke Google Assistant by squeezing the Pixel 2 frame. The feature was first confirmed by the FCC filing for the 4.97-inch Pixel 2 last month. The version 7.12 of the Google app refers to it as ‘Active Edge.’ It will have the ability to “squeeze for your Assistant.”

Another feature discovered in the code is Routines. Earlier this year, Google added Shortcuts to its voice assistant that lets users set up custom phrases to invoke commands. The Routine feature seems to be far more advanced than Shortcuts. It will let you initiate multiple tasks simultaneously using a single command.

The code also contains references to a “Google Bar.” It’s not yet clear whether it will be a widget or a search bar in notifications. The search engine giant will allow you to set the voice Google Assistant speaks in. Users will also be able to set up their own hotwords other than “OK Google.” The company may either give them a predefined list of hotwords to choose from, or allow you to create your own hotword to activate Google Assistant.

The Google Assistant will also get more commands for playing podcasts. The voice assistant already supports basic commands. The search engine giant will soon add other controls such as “Playback preferences” and “Continue last played podcast.”

The countdown has begun

The Google Pixel 2 is set to be unveiled on October 4th. The search engine giant has already shared teasers on its Search home page and put up billboards in major cities across the US. One of the teasers reads, “Thinking about changing phones? Stay tuned for more on October 4.” Notably, Google had unveiled the original Pixel phones on the same date a year ago.

Google began teasing its next-gen flagship just a couple of days after Apple announced the iPhone X. The Pixel 2 unveiling event will take place at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco. It will start at 9 a.m. Pacific Time or 12 p.m. ET on October 4th. If you want to watch the Pixel 2 event, Google will live stream it on YouTube. Bookmark this link and come back to it in 15 days.

The company is also expected to launch a new Chromebook Pixel, a mini version of Google Home, and a set of wireless headphones at the Oct.4 event. Code-named Bisto, the wireless headphones will have a dedicated button to activate the Google Assistant. Users will also be able to hear and respond to notifications via the headphones without having to pull out their phones from the pocket.

Google Pixel 2 features and specs

Just like last year, Google will launch two phones next month: Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2. They are rumored to feature 4.97-inch and 5.99-inch OLED screen, respectively. The upcoming Pixel phones will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC, which you’ll find inside most of the Android flagships released this year including Galaxy S8, Note 8, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, and LG V30.

There were speculations that the Pixel 2 would debut with a new Snapdragon 836 processor. However, more recent reports indicate that there is no Snapdragon 836. The device would run Snapdragon 835. Reports about the Pixel 2 camera setup have been contradictory. Some claim it will feature a single camera while others suggest it would come with a dual camera system on the back.

In a move that may surprise many Android fans, Google would remove the 3.5mm audio jack from the Pixel 2. The company will instead include a USB to 3.5mm dongle in the box. It is not yet clear whether the company will offer the Bisto wireless headphones to Pixel 2 buyers for free or sell them separately. The Pixel 2 is expected to boast an IP68 rating for water- and dust-resistance.

The upcoming Pixel phones will run Android Oreo right out of the box. It is also rumored to feature Qualcomm’s latest modems that support Gigabit LTE networks. The Pixel phones are faster and more energy efficient than third-party Android devices because Google is able to tightly integrate the hardware with software. Also, they are free from any bloatware.

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