Google Pixel and Pixel 3 XL have finally arrived, but there were not many surprises in terms of specifications on paper. Obviously, both the smartphones run Android 9.0 Pie and the features that come with it. When Google had unveiled the latest Android OS in August, one of the notable upgrades that rolled out was Gesture Navigation. Google has now confirmed that the new navigation method will not only be the default in the company's latest flagship, but the only navigation method in the handset. Separately, the tech giant has also confirmed that the display notch in Pixel 3 XL will come with a 'hide' option. Additionally, the Google Camera in the new handsets now come with a new UI.
Just after the release of Android Pie earlier this year, Google had confirmed that gesture navigation would be the default system in Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Now, the company confirmed that gesture navigation on the Pixel 3 cannot be disabled. In a tweet, Google said, "Pixel 3 introduces a new pattern that will represent navigation on all Android phones going forward. While change and adapting to new patterns is hard, we believe it's a better navigation pattern & makes app switching a faster experience."
This essentially means that the traditional three buttons will no longer be available for navigation. Pixel 3 users will have a single visible bar to use gestures for navigation. Swipe up on the bar once and it opens up recent apps, swipe up again to open up the app drawer.
As we know, Google Pixel 3 XL is yet another addition in the list of smartphones that come with a display notch, a trend that was started with Apple's iPhone X. Meanwhile, Google has provided a justification for the implementation of the notch on the flagship handset. Now, the company has reassured its fans that the smartphone comes with an option to hide the notch as well.
In a tweet, Google says, "For people who prefer a more traditional smartphone look, we've added an option to hide the display cutout (the notch)." The company said that the notch enables it to "provide the best cameras (two, one of which is wide angle) and audio experience." It claimed that the notch-to-display ratio in the smartphone "is actually less than many top competitors."
Meanwhile, APKs for the native apps on Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones are now popping up on the Internet. One key highlight of the Pixel 3 lineup is a redesigned Google Camera app that comes with new features. As per an Android Police report, the Google Camera app comes with several changes from the current app on previous Pixel handsets. The key differences include a new UI, RAW support, and a new panorama mode.
According to the report, the video button is no more present near the capture button. Additionally, there is a new carousel above for switching various modes and it includes Panorama and Portrait modes. The hamburger menu is now absent, but there is a new zoom UI, a white ring around images, and the colour temperature icon has been changed. Meanwhile, other modes and settings are now present in a tab on the right under the More option. Google has also updated the Panorama mode.
There are some changes in the Settings menu in the Google Camera app, the report adds. It now comes with RAW support under Advanced section, that was not present in the earlier version. It also provides a direct link to RAW images and comes with a toggle to switch between JPEG only and RAW+JPEG. Also, Google has got rid of the Burst settings.
Meanwhile, the Panoramas captured in the new Google Camera app can now record sound as well, using a new mic icon. Also, the focus slider for portrait photos has replaced the pop slider. In the new version, you can long-press the viewfinder to enter Lens mode. You can download the Google Camera v6.1 on APK mirror now, but note that you will not get Pixel 3 exclusive features such as Live Lens, H265, live focus tracking, and Top Shot.
The folks at Android Police also found some changes in the new Pixel Launcher discovered with the APK. The report says that the Pixel Launcher from Pixel 3 brings the Assistant button back. It says that the Assistant icon has been added to the app drawer's G pill. Also, the adaptive icons are now mandatory on all icons. Also, the spacing in the app launcher has increased. The report says there are some changes to the app switcher also. For instance, it comes with a small arrow above the G pill. Tapping the app icon now opens up a new interface that lets you enter split screen mode, see app info, or pin the app. Also, the pop-out effect is gone. You can download the Pixel Launcher v9-4902955 over on APK Mirror right now.
Can Google Pixel 3 succeed in India without massive discounts? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.