#Android #Smartphone – Look at all the awesome new Android features your Android phone will never get : Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones yesterday, more expensive Nexus replacements intended to compete directly against the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The devices are already available for preorder and will launch in stores in the coming weeks.
Some Android enthusiasts might be thrilled to see these Galaxy S7/Note 7 alternatives and Google appears to have done an excellent job with its new mobile initiative. But the Pixels aren’t perfect, and the worst thing about them has nothing to do with hardware, design or specs.
Sure, the Pixel and Pixel XL look like the iPhone 6/6s/7 and iPhone 6/6s/7 Plus. It’s HTC that makes them, and it’s hardly a surprise to see more iPhone clones running Android.
But that’s not the worst thing about them. After all, there are so many ways you can design a smartphone these days, and Apple is the obvious source of inspiration.
You might say that the strange glass-and-aluminum back is the worst thing about the Pixel phones. That rear case is unsightly, and Google hasn’t even tried to explain it.
We’ll have to wait for teardowns to understand why the Pixel need that much glass on the back. After all, they don’t come with wireless charging, which would somewhat excuse Google’s design decision.
The worst thing about the Pixel is that Google’s hardware initiative kills vanilla Android for good. Does that even matter at this point? It’s not like hordes of consumers were purchasing Nexus handsets and tablets so they could experience the latest version of Android.
Yes, it does matter! And it’s not about the Nexus devices either. With Pixel phones, Google appears to be taking a different approach to Android. The Pixels ship with Android 7.1 Nougat, which will come with certain features that Android 7.0 Nougat devices do not have.
The unique Pixel features include the Pixel Launcher, Google Assistant support, Smart Storage, unlimited Google Photos backups, 24/7 customer support, and a bunch of impressive camera tricks.
If you think that the incoming Android 7.1 Nougat update will bring those features to your Nexus device or any other high-end handset that supports Nougat, then you’re wrong.
A change log for Android 7.1 reveals that Nexus phones and other devices will not get Pixel-specific features. Not even the Pixel Launcher and Google Assistant will come to other Android devices.
Google is trying to set the Pixels apart by giving them special features, and it’s not like that’s an irrational business decision. But the Pixels might change the way Android fans buy devices.
Before, you could go for Nexus to get the hottest Android features as soon as Google released Android updates, or you could buy anything else and hope for speedy software upgrades.