A few weeks ago I posted the Pixel Launcher which you could sideload to your current Nexus or other Android device. For now, that may be the only way you can get onto your device. The new launcher will be exclusive to the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL for now although according to Android Police, Google is considering bringing it to other phones. The new launcher as you have likely seen by now, is a significant departure from the Google Now launcher with a slide up App Drawer and the Google “G” pill at the top to activate searching. Personally I’m a big fan of the new look but as a Nexus 6P owner, I may be waiting a while.
Category: Google Pixel
At their event held today, Google announced their two new flagship Android devices, the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL. The announcement was of little surprise given the promotional information from Google indicated a phone-shaped device was on the offer as well as the countless leaks over the course of the past two weeks. Still, the phones are now official and you will be able to pre-order yours starting today. Pixel and Pixel XL general availability will be October 20th.
Google Pixel, it is a 5″ Full HD display with 441 ppi and protected by Gorilla Glass 4. It is powered by the quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor running at 2.15GHz and that is coupled with 4GB of RAM. The main camera is 12.3MP f/2.0 shooter with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) while the front camera will be an 8MP unit. It will have all of the normal base features of a contemporary phone such as a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connector and NFC. Yes, it will have a 3.5mm headphone jack too. Interestingly, the phone will have two storage options: 32GB or 128GB and it will be powered by Android Nougat 7.1.
I feel for Google. They, like Apple and really any other phone manufacture in the world, struggles mightly to keep their new phones a secret until launch day. The problem is usually not the company themselves but partners or carriers who leak and today is another great example of it. Thanks to the folks at UK-based Carphone Warehouse, we now have the full specs of the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL which will launch tomorrow. Frankly the specs really don’t have any surprises if you consider previous
leaks guesses on what the specs would be at launch day. Given the retailer had full page renders of all the Pixel goodness on their site, which has now been taken down, you can pretty much count on these being a lock. We’ll know for sure tomorrow.
As for the Google Pixel, it is a 5″ Full HD display with 441 ppi and protected by Gorilla Glass 4. It is powered by the quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor running at 2.15GHz and that is coupled with 4GB of RAM. The main camera is 12.3MP f/2.0 shooter with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) while the front camera will be an 8MP unit. It will have all of the normal base features of a contemporary phone such as a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connector and NFC. Yes, it will have a 3.5mm headphone jack too. 🙂 Interestingly, the phone will have two storage options: 32GB or 128GB and it will be powered by Android Nougat 7.1.
When the announcement came out a few weeks ago that Google would be holding an event on October 4th, it seems pretty straight forward. This Google event, it seemed, would bring us a couple of new phones and that would be about it. However, the much anticipated Pixel and Pixel XL are likely to only be the tip of the iceberg. The event is shaping up to be huge with announcements across a wide swath of the Google landscape.
While everything to this point is purely rumor, there are strong indicators of what we will see or won’t see. I’ve put together a list of things we are likely to see in the October 4th event and it is expansive. Get ready for a really exciting day!
Google Pixel / Google Pixel XL – Probability: 100%
Fundamentally, this event started as a launch event for Google’s new phones, the 5.2″ Pixel and 5.5″ Pixel XL. Both devices are expected to be launched with the new Pixel Launcher and with
Android Nougat 7.1, the first maintenance release for the latest version of Android. As for the details, both devices are expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and both will have 4GB of RAM. Both are expected to have a 12MP main camera, fingerprint scanner and sticking with Nexus tradition, will not have a MicroSD card for storage expansion. They will however come with 32, 64 or 128GB of Storage.
The devices have been heavily influenced by Google and are built by HTC. It is also expect that for the first time, Google will have their phones in carrier and retailers. Pricing is still a bit of a mystery but something around the $450 mark for the Pixel and $650 for the XL (starting price) is likely.
Finally, don’t expect these phones to be available on the 4th. It will likely be the end of the month before we see them ship if history holds true. You will however likely be able to pre-order them on or around the 4th.
Google is preparing in a big way for next Tuesday’s big Google Event. Not only has there been a huge amount of advertising around the event, the company has already setup their YouTube channel for the event. That means that you will be able to watch the event live for yourself. I personally love the fact that they are doing this and making all of their announcements known to everyone. And, given that it is on YouTube, that means you can watch it on-the-go from the YouTube app on any device.
Android fans, time to mark your calendars. All indications including a teaser video from Google are pointing to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL to be announced on October 4th. The video, which popped up on Google’s YouTube channel, starts with a search box that slowly morphs into a phone-shaped device by the end of the 30 second clip. Couple this with the new Made By Google website, which features the same morphing search box, it is clear that the Mountain View company is getting things prepped for their new devices.
As you have probably seen or read by now, there is a beta app of the Google Pixel Launcher that is expected to be a part of the upcoming Google Pixel phones. You may recall earlier this Summer there was a Nexus Launcher that was running around in beta. This is the exact same thing, renamed and updated a bit. If you want to try out the new launcher, you can download both the launcher APK and the new wallpaper pack APK in one zip file after the break.
First, a few of housekeeping items before you download these files.
- This is a beta app and is not officially supported. There is no tech support for it so if you aren’t comfortable with that, don’t install it. Wait until it becomes official.
- No, I’m not tech support.
- No warranty is expressed or implied. ClintonFitch.com is not responsible for any damages to your phone, data, pictures, files, etc. on your phone. Load at your own risk.
- In order to install the APKs, you will need to allow for apps to be installed from unknown sources. You can find this setting at Settings>Security>Unknown Sources.
- You will need to install both APKs for everything to work properly. I recommend installing the wallpaper pack first.
It looks like the Nexus name is dying a death. Reports are suggesting that Google is going to be hosting an event on October 4th, at which we will see the new HTC-built Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL announced. Those phones are currently under their code names of Marlin and Sailfish respectively. The new naming convention will mean that across all hardware types – phones, tablets and Chromebooks – there is one name to remember and will likely have some sort of suffix designation for the model.
What is interesting is that the name “Pixel” has been associated with Google as being the designer of the product. Take the Pixel C or the Pixel Chromebook as an example. While Google may not have built those devices, they had a very heavy hand in their design. Is that the case for the Pixel and Pixel XL phones? leaked mock-ups suggest no. The Marlin (Pixel) device looks strikingly like the HTC built One A9. While it may have different innards, outward appearances don’t suggest Google did the design.