The Pixel Check for Update Button is Broken Again

Check for Update on Google Pixel XL

Remember back in September when I posted about the fact that the Check for Update button on Google Pixel and Nexus devices actually worked?  Like, it actually looked at the cloud where phone images live, did a stare-and-compare of what was there versus what was on your phone, and would immediately download it to your phone.  It was cool for the few minutes it worked.

No, it is not your imagination.  It is broken.

Googler Elliott Hughes has taken to his Google+ account to update everyone that the feature is broken due to an API incompatibility.  It will get fixed but it won’t be until 2018.

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Google Pixel Devices Get On-Device Battery Life Estimates for Improved Accuracy

Battery Life Settings on Google Pixel

Google has made a small but significant change to the way that Google Pixel devices measure estimated battery life.  The update replaces a simple model that was on the devices that could produce some wildly inaccurate measurements and results.

The news of the update came via the Pixel Product Help Site and essentially, the new model now looks at how you actually use your phone rather than making estimates based on your previous hour of usage.  Before this change, if you used 10% of your battery in an hour, the model would assume that you would continue to use your batter at a 10% per hour clip.  This resulted in some discrepancies if you went above or below that 10% rate.  The change to the model gives more personalized results.

To fix this, we built an on-device model that evaluates how you use your phone’s battery over time. Your phone looks at your battery usage on similar days and times, and uses that to predict your battery life in a personalized way.

The cool thing is, this is all a cloud-side change that Google pushed out so if you have a Pixel device, you likely already have this change in place.

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Google Pixel SMS Issue To Be Resolved in November

Google Pixel XL

Google as a general rule has done a good job of getting fixes out to their devices in a timely manner.  This time however, they failed.

A small subset of Google Pixel owners have been experiencing not receiving SMS messages after upgrading to Android Oreo on their Pixel or Pixel XL.  The problem seems somewhat isolated to Verizon customers but users on other carriers have been impacted too.  The bug first popped up a couple of weeks ago and there is a long thread about the issue in the Google Product Forums.  It appears that it took a while for Google to pinpoint exactly what the issue was but now are stating they have gotten to the bottom of it.

We want to let you all know that we have been able to identify and implement a fix for this issue. Thank you to those that sent over bug reports and for including detailed information here on this thread.

There was an issue introduced in the release of Android Oreo that affects text message (SMS) delivery for a subset of Pixel (not Pixel 2) users.This issue was only seen on a small number of carriers. Unfortunately this has resulted in devices getting into a state where they do not receive messages.

The problem is that users who are impacted by this issue will have to wait until the November Android Security Update to get the fix.  That’s right, you get to live with it for at least another 2 weeks.

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Check for Update Really Works in Oreo on Nexus & Pixel Devices

System Updates in Android Oreo

So here’s a concept:  A button that actually does something.  For years, the “Check for update” button in Android pretty much did nothing.  Sure you could hit it but the odds of you getting an update were pretty slim.  Why?  Because manufactures like Google, Samsung and others as well as carriers phase updates out to their customers.  The result?  The “Check for update” button was, by-and-large, useless.

That’s changing under Android Oreo, specifically for the Google Nexus and Pixel devices.  Now when you tap that button in Settings>System>System Updates, it actually, really goes out to Google’s servers and download the latest OTA update.  No waiting on phasing.

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Google Pixel Trade-In Program Goes Live

Google Pixel Trade-In Program

After being leaked a couple of days ago along with a slew of other leaks, the Google trade-in program for the Google Pixel is now live at the Google Store.  The program allows you to trade in previous Google Nexus phones, LG, Samsung, and iPhones to get a credit towards the purchase of a new Google Pixel or Pixel XL.

With the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL only a few weeks away, it is a little surprising to see Google open this program up now.  The assumption was that it would start when the next generation phones were announced.

As for the value that you get, it largely depends on how new your phone is and its condition.  For example, if I wanted to trade in my Nexus 6P with 64GB of storage, I would get back $155 since it is in working condition and doesn’t have a broken screen.  If I trade in my wife’s iPhone SE 128GB, that would get me $87.

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YouTube HDR Slowly Rolling Out to Compatible Devices

YouTube for Android

Several current Android phones are starting to see the long awaited YouTube HDR content come to them.  YouTube rolled out HDR content at the end of 2016 but to this point, virtually no devices were able to render it.  That has changed throughout the course of 2017 and now several reports indicate that multiple devices are seeing an HDR option on video playback.

For those who don’t know, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  Images and video shot in HDR have more contrast, a wider color palette and greater brightness levels.

As for devices that are now reportedly able to show HDR content, it is growing rapidly.

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Leak Suggests Google Pixel Event Happening October 5th

Google Pixel XL

It looks like everyone needs to go put a reminder in their Google Calendar for October 5th.  That day, according to a leak from Evan Blass, suggest that will be the day that we see the all new Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel XL 2.

For those who may not know who Evan Blass is exactly, he’s a reporter for Venturebeat and has been one of the most reliable resources for inside leaks on upcoming device launch dates and details on those devices.  He’s pretty amazing actually and I recommend following him on Twitter.

Put it this way:  Those of you who are long time readers know I rarely post anything leak related.  But I will post something from Evan Blass because it is 98% likely to happen.

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