The Pixel smartphones mark a bold new direction for Google. For the first time, the creator of Android is competing head-on with its partners, and Google is eager to differentiate its smartphones from the huge variety of Android devices already on the market.
To do so, the company equipped the Pixels with several interesting features. But right now it’s not clear which features are Pixel-only and which will arrive on other devices with Android 7.1.
Starting with the features that we know for a fact that are Pixel exclusive for the time being. First up, is Google Assistant – Google confirmed that the virtual assistant service will only be available on the Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel Launcher, with its opaque buttons and swipe up gesture for accessing apps will also be Pixel exclusive, along with the unlimited original Google Photos storage, and Smart Storage, which automatically cleans up space occupied by backed-up media. The integrated customer support app will obviously be Pixel only.
According to sources cited by Android Police, the Pixel will also have exclusivity on some cosmetic touches, like the color accents and the dynamic calendar icon, as well as some under-the-hood features including some camera features and sensor hub functionality.
As for the features coming to other devices once Android 7.1 rolls out, they include Daydream VR, night light (display color tweaks), fingerprint gestures, seamless updates, app shortcuts, and a few other developer features.
Google said Android 7.1 will roll out by the end of this year, starting with a developer preview. The Pixel C and all the Nexus devices that got Nougat are likely to receive the update.
Note that Google has not officially announced its plans for Android 7.1, so take the info above with a grain of salt. Let us know your thoughts!