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At Google’s hardware party this week, the new version of the Android functioning method, Android seven.one (Nougat seven.one), was barely stated. As it turns out, there was a reason for that: some of the new Pixel smartphones‘ greatest features won’t be arriving in the new OS. This consists of features like Google Assistant, the constructed-in customer aid services, unrestricted and free backup of total-res photographs and videos, Smart Storage, and additional.

Information on which features were “Pixel-only” were beforehand reported by Android Law enforcement, citing a changelog presented by a Google supply. Google confirmed to us individuals alterations are accurate.

Some of the omissions make sense. For instance, only Pixel phones will ship with the new, “fast switch” adapter that makes it simpler to transfer your information from Iphone to Android. That calls for hardware in the form of the adapter cable.


The Pixel’s Digicam app is also tied to the phones’ new hardware – that is, the Pixel sports a 12.3-megapixel rear digicam which allows you shoot 4K video clip, and features distinctive modes like “Smartburst” for taking several photographs in succession, among the other factors.

Moreover, the Pixel features a Sensor Hub processor with tightly integrated sensors and connectivity (i.e., Wi-Fi, mobile, GPS).

Just one could even argue that bundling the free, unrestricted image and video clip backup services, via Google Photos, is just good advertising and marketing. It makes the Pixel smartphone additional desirable to image enthusiasts, who are looking for a reason to enhance their current Android gadget, or potentially decide on the Pixel in excess of the Iphone seven, in which iCloud storage even now costs dollars.


Having said that, some of the missing features are additional shocking.

Most notably, Android seven.one, the updated version of Nougat that powers the Pixel and Pixel XL, is missing Google Assistant. This wise virtual helper is Google’s respond to to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa. It is a whole lot additional robust than Google Now, the current digital assistant that ships on today’s Android products and in the standalone Google app.

Google Now is already reasonably strong – it allows you chat to it employing purely natural language, and features a wide range of help, comparable to rivals. This ranges from sending you alerts of information and facts you treatment about – like how long it will take to get residence on your commute, or when to depart to catch a flight, when your bundle will get there, as well as temperature, sports and inventory information and facts, or reminders of upcoming functions, and additional.

It can also serve as a jumping off issue for Google searches, by answering thoughts about nearby areas, like dining establishments or shops, or just searching the website. And it features additional utilitarian capabilities, these kinds of as altering gadget capabilities, sending texts and emails, placing calls, or creating reminders.


But Google Assistant is like an upgraded, smarter Google Now. It can do every thing Now does, but its underlying A.I. technological innovation is capable of having a two-way discussion with you, and can master and recall particular details you share with it, then recall them in upcoming chats. You can ask it to give you each day updates on information and facts you want to observe by a membership element.

It also performs with Chromecast and other Google Solid-enabled products, and features the means to management wise residence products from Nest, SmartThings and Philips Hue.

Moreover, it will perform with 3rd-occasion expert services which can integrate with it via Steps (basically Google’s version of Alexa’s “Skills.”)


Offered Assistant’s increased prowess, it is disappointing that it is not right away changing Google Now in the Android seven.one update. That doesn’t indicate it won’t ever get there on other Android products – limiting Assistant to Pixel indefinitely would be insane – but it is undoubtedly not coming via a free Android update in the near-phrase. 

Claims a Google spokesperson:

Our purpose is to make the Google Assistant commonly obtainable to customers, and we’ll proceed to start new surfaces in excess of the program of the future calendar year.

Meanwhile, in conditions of the Pixel Launcher and person interface, only the Pixel smartphones will feature navigation bar icons that make home for accessing Assistant, SysUI accent shade theming, the new glimpse and feel of the set-up monitor, the new wallpaper picker, and the dynamic calendar date icon.


That being reported, Android seven.one will arrive with at the very least a handful of new goodies.

This includes Night Gentle with hardware acceleration aid, touch and show general performance advancements, Moves (the new fingerprint gesture to open up and close the notification shade), the seamless A/B method updates, Daydream VR method, and several new APIs for developers like the app shortcut manager APIs and circular app icons aid.

Android seven.one will start as a Developer Preview later this thirty day period. Google wouldn’t validate when it will start out to rollout to consumers’ smartphones, or which will receive the update initial.