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Nexus phones likely won't get Pixel and Pixel XL's Night Light and fingerprint reader gestures

A Google team member confirmed that Nexus phones won't get the Night Light and fingerprint reader gestures that come with Google's Pixel phones.

Published onOctober 20, 2016

Nexus logo 2 AA

While it was originally thought that there was a good chance the Pixel and Pixel XL’s Night Light and fingerprint sensor gestures would make their way to Nexus devices, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Google team member Ian Blake has confirmed in a Google+ post that neither the Night Light nor the fingerprint reader gestures from the Pixel phones will come to the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X.

In case you need some background, swiping down on the Pixel and Pixel XL’s fingerprint sensor will pull down the notification shade. This feature is especially handy if you own a bigger device like the Pixel XL. The Night Light feature, on the other hand, cuts down on the amount of blue light on the display, making it easier on users’ eyes, especially at night.

While the new Android 7.1 Developer Preview does bring a new Moves (aka gestures) section to Nexus devices’ settings menus, the fingerprint swipe requires specific hardware, which the 6P and 5X do not have. Night Light also uses a new hardware composer interface to do color transforms on the display hardware, instead of using a GL Shader. This means Nexus devices are out of luck again, as they don’t have the proper driver support.

Android 7.1 Developer Preview now available for Nexus 6P, 5X and Pixel C

While it’s not exactly a shock that Google’s older phones won’t be able to handle all of the features included in Android 7.1, it must still be disappointing for all those Nexus owners who were perhaps hoping that would not be the case. It would appear that all the cool toys are available to the Pixel and Pixel XL, which are now on sale at both Google’s own online store as well as Verizon Wireless in the US.

Google Pixel XL review: a Pixel's perspective
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