The new version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, Android 7.1 Nougat, was not highlighted much during Google’s event this week. The reason may have something to do with the fact that the coolest features on the tech giant’s latest handsets, the Pixel and the Pixel XL, will not be included in the newest iteration of Android, after all. Which features are we talking about? These include Google Assistant, the built in customer service mobile app, free unlimited back up of high resolution images and video content, and Smart Storage, among many others.
Android Police has published a report detailing the specific features that exclusive only to the Pixel smartphones. Some of the omitted functionalities were no surprise -- for instance, the Pixel devices will come with the new quick switch adapter, which allows users to transfer their data much easier from iPhone devices to Android powered handsets. The Camera mobile app on the Pixel phones are also omitted because they are tied to the devices’ new hardware, specifically the 12.3 megapixel camera on the rear side, which lets users take 4K video footage, and comes with special modes like Smartburst, which offers the ability to capture multiple images in succession. Moreover, the Pixel devices possess a Sensor Hub chip that features especially integrated sensors and connectivity capabilities, e.g. Wi-Fi, cellular, GPS.
Google’s decision to bundle the free unlimited photo and video back up storage may have been a wise one. For one, it positions the Pixel devices as an ideal handset for those into photography. Furthermore, it allows Google to target either those photography enthusiasts looking to upgrade their existing Android run smartphone, or those who are thinking of purchasing the iPhone 7, whose iCloud storage is not offered free of charge, unlike the Pixel’s.
But the omission of Google Assistant may raise a lot of eyebrows. Some consider this feature as Google’s answer to Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, and Alexa by Amazon. Most of today’s Android devices have Google Now, but Google Assistant is a far more improved product. Basically, it has all of the capabilities present in Google Now, but it also comes with an artificial intelligence tech that interacts better with the user, even learning and remembering personal details that the user shares and then retrieving those information in future interactions. Moreover, it also works with Chromecast and other Google Cast compatible handsets, plus enabling users to control smart home devices from Nest, SmartThings, and Philips Hue.
Still, Android 7.1 Nougat is expected to offer something new, including features like Night Light, Moves (fingerprint gesture controls for notifications), updates on the A/B system, and Daydream VR mode, just to name a few. Android 7.1 will be made available as a Developer Preview this month, but no details yet on its official deployment to the public.
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