The Pixel 4 is a decent upgrade over the Pixel 3, but not everyone wants to buy a new device to get the fancy bells and whistles. A major selling point to the Pixel line is its software updates, so many Pixel owners look forward to Google backporting future features to their current handsets.
Unfortunately, one useful Google Pixel 4 feature doesn’t look like it’s coming to previous Pixel devices even though it is most likely possible: screen attention. Screen attention simply uses the front-facing camera to prevent the Pixel 4 display from timing out if the user is looking at the device.
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Since screen attention doesn’t rely on the Pixel 4’s Soli radar sensor, some people expected the feature to roll out to previous devices, especially since it popped up in an Android 10 beta version for the Pixel 3. According to Android Police, this was just a placeholder for other OEMs, and Google has no plans at this time to release it on previous devices.
The Pixel 4 is indeed a compelling device, but it’s far from perfect. For the average consumer, it can be a hard sell over something like the Pixel 3a. Last generation’s budget device is reliable, it gets the latest software updates, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Bringing more simple and useful features like screen attention to older Pixel devices seems like it can only be a good thing for Google’s product line. I suppose it’s not too late for Google to change its mind, but I’m not going to hold my breath.