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Many Android 7.1 Nougat features, including Google Assistant, are exclusive to the Pixel

By midian182 ยท 17 replies
Oct 6, 2016
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  1. Google finally unveiled its long-rumored Pixel smartphones earlier this week. They will be the first to launch with Android 7.1 Nougat, but many of the Pixels’ best features, such as the new Google Assistant, won’t appear on other Android devices, including Google’s own Nexus series, when the OS arrives.

    An Android 7.1 Nougat changelog leaked to Android Police shows which new features will appear in the upcoming operating system, as well as those that are Pixel-only. Google confirmed that the information is accurate is to TechCrunch.

    The absence of the AI-powered helper will come as disappointment to those who expected to see the Siri/Cortana/Alexa rival on every handset receiving Android 7.1 Nougat. Google Assistant is essentially a more advanced version of Google Now, able to engage in two-way conversations with users, perform complex tasks, and learn and recall personal information from previous conversations for context.

    Other Pixel exclusives include the free, unlimited photo and video (in their original quality) cloud backup service; the smart storage feature, which automatically removes old, backed up images/videos when the storage is full; and the Pixel Camera and Launcher apps. 24-hour phone/chat support and screen-share functionality will also be limited to the Pixel phones.

    There are some interesting new features coming to all devices that receive Android 7.1, though. There’s the Night Light blue filter, which changes the color temperature of a display at night. A Daydream VR mode is also on its way, along with support for sliding down on the fingerprint sensor to open the notification bar.

    Google did say that its Assistant would eventually be arriving on other Android devices, just don’t expect it soon. Ultimately, the company will likely replace Google Now with its more advanced version of the assistant.

    "Our goal is to make the Google Assistant widely available to users, and we’ll continue to launch new surfaces over the course of the next year," a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch.

    The developer preview of Android 7.1 arrives later this month. Google hasn’t said when it will come to phones other than the Pixel.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Maniac Posts: 374   +177

    Way to further segregate the Android marketplace Google...
    Evernessince and MoeJoe like this.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +546

    I dont think google cares anymore.

    Perhaps samsung's tizen OS wasnt such a bad idea after all.
    liammac002, MoeJoe and wastedkill like this.
  4. petert

    petert TS Booster Posts: 160   +43

    Terrible marketing - just greedy and stupid. And how does Pixel stands out in the flagship crowd? With exactly damn nothing.
    MoeJoe likes this.
  5. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    And that's why I got an iPhone after my Galaxy Nexus. Well that and I didn't care as much about rooting it as I thought I would.
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    And people said Android os was a good thing...
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,143   +533

    NONE of these "features" are anything I want anyway. Just bait for the sheep.
    Nothing justifies the price, but, if people are silly enough to pay that, can't blame
    Google, apple et al, for trying.
    MoeJoe and petert like this.
  8. petert

    petert TS Booster Posts: 160   +43

    Actually chances are for those to be anti-features. Example: Google Now - a piece of rubbish, which never gave me anything useful, and can only be disabled, not removed. And google personal assistant - stuff which have just been released on the market - jeez, where do I sign up?
    p51d007 and MoeJoe like this.
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +274

    Yeah, I won't miss it. All these assistants seem to do is function as news aggregators. Google Now and Cortana giving me travel reminders is completely hit or miss. sometimes they remind me, but usually not until I'm already in my car, and half way to my destination (to which I arrive on time anyway). They are not terribly good at searching for files or running programs when I ask them to.

    Virtual assistants just aren't ready, and probably won't be for another 5 years.
    MoeJoe likes this.
  10. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 616   +335

    I blame HTC for the high pricing and the killing off of the Nexus realm.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,727   +965

    Same thing Microsoft does. No hardware reason to not include it in other handsets, they just want to corral their users.

    Both companies deserve to be defecated on for these practices.
  12. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +274

    How do you figure that?
  13. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,127   +811

    That it doesn't bring up anything new or useful for you is one thing, that is not useful at all for anyone is as bad a statement as saying that apple phones are crap, sure, you don't like them, but there a lot of people out there who will prefer them over Android, just sayin'.

    On my end I find Google Now really useful for specific tasks, like set reminders, timers, alarms, ask for the weather, and I can assure you I can do it faster than opening the application to do it even if it's on the main screen. It works and I don't have to go out of my way for it to work, which is really great.
  14. enemys

    enemys TS Booster Posts: 57   +35

    So... You basically sell even more (because every smartphone user sold a lot of it already) of your privacy for 50 seconds a day saved on not having to launch the calendar app?
  15. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Rookie Posts: 23   +13

    And in an instant, Google Phones become another "me too" brand to be chewed up and spat out by Apple. This move risks cannibalizing all Android products. It might have worked if it came with a compelling price, but as it stands, this package is way to expensive to make Apple do more than glance, smile, and keep walking..

    Excellent phones don't need to be 600 quid. As soon as someone works this out they'll be able to make a product that we'll love.
  16. well spoken!
  17. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,884   +2,831

    HTC just build a device with Googles input, Googles specified specs and price, the decision what it's shipped or not shipped with is not HTC's decision.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  18. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +102

    If it does not have the iOS App Store, it does not have the best software.

    Sure, iPhones have limited customization, but they're the best at doing what most people want to do.

    They're also the fastest. Maybe not the best camera or display (yet), but that's about it.

    "Hey Siri" works really well, especially that it now interfaces with other Apps.

    Google ASSistant will be marketing everything it knows about you to the point the phone could be free and they'll still make a profit.

    Apple's zen garden gets better every day and protects your privacy instead of selling you out to the government and anyone else who would pay for it.

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