The California-based technology company mailed-out invitations to its exclusive launch event earlier this month. Google has also debuted a new webpage for the upcoming smartphones, which hints at some of the new hardware tipped to launch during the event.
“Thinking about changing phones?”, the tagline teases.
Google has confirmed it will hold an event on October 4th 2017 – which is exactly one year since it first unveiled the new Pixel and Pixel XL hardware. Ahead of the launch, Google has started to roll-out a series of billboards across the United States.
The simple poster design includes the event date and the Google logo. Google is widely-tipped to bring a number of new features to its second-generation flagship smartphone, including improved cameras, more storage, front-facing stereo speakers, and trimmed bezels on the Pixel XL 2. Some of these rumored features have appeared in leaked photographs and analyst reports – but a recent update to one of Google’s own applications appears to prove the leaks are on the right tracks.
An update to the Google app (version 7.12), unpacked by 9to5Google, has confirmed the Pixel 2’s much-rumored ‘Active Edge’ feature, which will – much like the HTC U11 – add squeeze-like functionality to the Google’s Android flagship.
The app refers to the ability to “Squeeze for your Assistant“, confirming clasping the device will fire up Google’s AI Assistant.
Google Assistant itself will be getting a bunch of updates, and the code reveals that Pixel users will be able to choose a custom voice for the digital helper, and create custom ‘hotwords’ to fire it up, rather than the default ‘OK Google’ phrase.
“It’s unclear whether Google is offering users the chance to create their own hotword to initiate the Assistant, or whether users can now select from a predefined list,” 9to5Google notes.
‘Routines’ is another new feature set to arrive alongside Google’s new Pixels. While Google has already added Shortcuts that allow users to set their own phrases to invoke Assistant commands, Routines will allow allows users to initiate multiple things with just a single command.
Other new features confirmed in the code deep-dive include the ability to play ‘ambient noises’ that will shut off automatically as you fall asleep and the ability to customize the Google search bar in Android with more colors and designs.
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