Poll: Should Google expand Pixel-exclusive features to other Android devices?

Should Google expand Pixel features to other Android devices?

Google Pixel phones are not known for their hardware, but for the unique software features that they pack not only on other Android devices, but also on Apple’s iPhones.

Since the debut of the Pixel, Google has escalated towards making custom software for its most expensive mobile in order to stand out in the crowded smartphone market.

But despite Google’s efforts to create a market for itself by offering exclusive features, Pixel market share It’s still a drop in the ocean compared to Samsung, Apple, and other smartphone vendors.

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The latest Pixel 6 series is perhaps Google’s best effort to perfect its smartphone hardware, but the many bugs and software-related issues it encountered have been a thorn in the foot for many.

While the Android 13 update has been helpful in improving phones performance, not everyone shares the same sentiments. The broader hope, however, is that the Pixel 7 won’t inherit any of the Pixel 6’s issues.

But even as Pixel fans prepare for the arrival of the Pixel 7, the issue needs to be addressed with exclusive software features that Google chooses to keep close to its box.

I was grateful when broke the news Car Accident Detection is set to break free from Pixel Chains. After all, safety features should never be exclusive. Nor should they require a subscription.

ios-16-iphone-14-pro-emergency-sos connected to the satellite
iPhone 14’s SOS Emergency

It’s not often that you come across news like this, so obviously I was excited and got me thinking about the other Pixel-exclusive feature that Google should extend beyond its walls. Now playing quickly came to my mind.

For starters, the Pixel 2 debuted a feature known as Now Playing. If you’ve heard of or used apps like Shazam and SoundHound, you already know the basics of how Now Playing works.

It uses the Pixel’s microphone to capture audio samples and create an audio fingerprint that you use to match against a central database. If there is a match, the music title, album, artist and other details will appear on the screen.

The best parts of Now Playing is that it’s not manual, it works even when the phone is locked, and the whole process happens on the device without the internet. Privacy geeks will be happy to know that the data is not sent to Google.

Google-Pixel-Now-Playing-Exclusive Feature

Although Now Playing is a Google Pixel exclusive feature, non-Pixel users like me have been thirsting for it for a long time. Unfortunately, unlike other Google apps, Now Play is not available for installation on all Android devices.

But Android is always full of possibilities. Granted, those interested in the tool can still get it, but with the help of a mod known as Ambient Music.

There is a whole process of how to start editing in detail over hereBut no one is worth the pain of going through all that just to turn the feature on on a non-Pixel phone.

Shizuku-Now-Play-Ambient-Music-mod.apk

However, the fact that a developer has gone so far as to actually simulate the Now Playing experience on any non-Pixel device says a lot about how badly some people want to try out Now Playing to break the Pixel barriers.

Certainly, Now Playing is one of those features that makes the Pixel stand out in the crowded Android market.

But since Google is the guardian of the Android OS, having such a feature available to all of AOSP’s Android vendors could be an added bonus to the bigger competition against Apple.

In fact, given the numbers that Pixel has released from the start, Google should consider extending Pixel-exclusive features to other Android devices.

As a smartphone maker, Google is not in direct competition with Samsung or Apple. But as the owner of Android, Google is in direct competition with Apple. The fight should be taken to Apple, not to its Android partners.

Samsung vs Apple
(source)

Sticking with these cool features in hiding exclusivity will only slow Android in what looks like an even more intense battle with iOS after the recent release of iOS 16.

Google has claimed in the past that Now Playing requires specific hardware and software integration in order to work, but the fact that the feature has been modified to work on non-Pixels indicates otherwise.

I’m not writing code, but I think Google can pull some strings and extend functionality beyond the Pixel. If an independent developer can bring the Now Playing feature to non-pixels via a mod, Google can officially do so.

Of all the Android smartphone vendors, only Samsung has a better chance of fighting a proper fight against Apple. Not Google, and the sales numbers tell the story best.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

By unlocking the exclusive features of the Pixel, Google will make Android great again. As it stands, Google could easily be mistaken for battling Android from within rather than bolstering unity against a common competitor.

Given its meager market share, Google has no incentive to lock down software features on Pixel phones when they could be made available to all Android vendors as part of the AOSP. This needs to change for the better.

Do tell us your thoughts in the comments section. As for the survey below, the article will be updated with the results in a week.

Featured Image: The Google

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