Rumors Suggest That Three Pixel Watch Options Will Be Coming Later This Year

Ticwatch E

Now that Google I/O has wrapped up for 2018, Android and Google fans are starting to turn their attention to the next hardware event for the Mountain View company.  Rumors are already starting to fly about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 phone series but a new rumor yesterday suggests that we could finally see a Pixel Watch in the mix too.

Wear OS by Google has, much like Android, needed a hero device to show the ultimate experience of what the platform can bring.  It is something I wrote about shortly after the name change from Android Wear and it looks like that could be happening.

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Android Nougat 7.1.2 Beta Released – Not Available for the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9

Android N on The Nexus 6

Google has released the first beta of Android Nougat 7.1.2, the next maintenance release for the latest version of Android.  The build became available today for those in the Android Beta program with the final release expected to be “in a few months”.  If you have a Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel, Pixel XL, or Pixel C tablet, you can download the beta through the program.  Like any beta release, it will have bugs and other issues so it is probably not best to load it up on your main phone at this point.

Of note is that the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 are not in the list of devices that will be getting the 7.1.2 update.  The Nexus 6 just received the 7.1.1 update earlier this month while the Nexus 9 got the update when it was available for the Nexus 6P and 5x.  All indications are that these devices will not be getting the .2 update.  Google specifically left them out of the announcement around the beta.

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Pixel Launcher Will Only Be Available on Pixel Phones – For Now

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.

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Google Announces Daydream VR Headset

Google today announced their new Daydream VR headset.  The $79 headset will be available in November and comes in three, soft fabric color options.  The headset is specifically designed to work with devices that have Google Daydream enabled such as the new Google Pixel lineup.  Google indicates that other Daydream enabled phones are on the way which will work with the headset.

Google designed the headset in software fabrics instead of hard plastics for a more comfortable fit.  They also designed it to work around eyeglasses to give more comfort.  The headset also comes with a controller that has a gyroscope built into it which allows you to point, click and interact within VR environments.

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Download The Pixel Launcher

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.

  1. 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.
  2. No, I’m not tech support.
  3. No warranty is expressed or implied. is not responsible for any damages to your phone, data, pictures, files, etc. on your phone.  Load at your own risk.
  4. 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.
  5. You will need to install both APKs for everything to work properly.  I recommend installing the wallpaper pack first.

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Nexus Phones Are Dead! Long Live Pixel Phones!

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.

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