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Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Said to Sport Always Listening Music Feature, Portrait Mode, Dual Speakers, and More


Google is gradually inching towards the launch of its next generation Pixel smartphones on October 4, which are tipped to be known as Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. While there have been multiple leaks pointing out the hardware and software specifications for both the smartphones, we now have more details about the software part, thanks to two separate sources. It has been reported that the new Pixel smartphones will ship with a redesigned Pixel Launcher, in addition to three more features. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are also said to sport dual stereo speakers on the front, a new Always Listening Music recognition feature, and a Portrait Mode for the camera.

Let us first talk about the new look of the Pixel Launcher, which is said to debut with Google’s new devices next month. At the time of presentation at Google I/O developer conference this year, a Pixel smartphone was seen running a new Pixel Launcher with Search Bar below the dock and just above the navigation buttons. Artem Russakovskii, the enthusiast behind the Android Police and APKMirror websites, claims the upcoming Pixel smartphones will sport the redesigned Pixel Launcher. In line with this, XDA Developers, prolific tipster Evan Blass, and 9to5Google have also been able to corroborate the same development. Besides, the Google homepage on the Pixel smartphones would have a revamped look and design, Artem has noted.

Google is now looking forward to pack some brand new features, along with the new set of hardware. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now said to feature two stereo speakers – on the top and bottom ends. This has already been spotted in a couple of leaked images earlier, as the California-based giant is perhaps planning to ditch the 3.5mm audio jack on its Pixel phones. In addition to that, the aforementioned sources have also been able to dig out more information about the features that are expected to be in Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

Artem, on the basis of his experience with Verizon Pixel 2 for a brief time, and XDA Developers have learnt that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be introduced with a brand new Always Listening Music feature. This feature is essentially a background activity that activates to show you any music on the screen that is being played nearby. It is satisfying on the part of Google Assistant, which still doesn’t support music recognition. Those concerned about the privacy will have the option to disable this feature under Settings.

Next up is the anticipated Portrait Mode, which is surprising as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been spotted sporting just a single camera on the rear side. While it’s uncertain how Google is going to work around this kind of a feature, it might become really nifty for the people who have an eye for depth photography. This feature is said to be similar to the Portrait mode seen on iPhone 7 Plus. Among all of the features mentioned above, Artem also confirms the inclusion of ‘Squeeze’ feature that will launch Google Assistant on the new smartphones. This feature was earlier leaked in July. There will also be an Always-On Ambient Light Display, which is now a part of AOSP root package for Android Oreo and can be enabled on the devices running it.

While the previous leaks have also pointed out about the tentative pricing of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, these new insights give more details about these devices. The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be launched on October 4 and we will be covering it live straight from California, so stay tuned.