As the flagship smartphones of Google, the Pixel handsets definitely get special treatment when it comes to the Android OS they are running. With the release of the changelog for Nougat 7.1, it appears that many of the new software update’s interesting features would only be exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL.
On Tuesday, Android Police learned about Google's confirmation that it would be bring the Android 7.1 Nougat update on to Nexus devices and the Pixel C before the year ends. Unfortunately, certain features that are now deemed Pixel-exclusive won’t be arriving to non-Pixel devices. The tech site noted that the main reason why there are Pixel-exclusive features is for Google to ensure that consumers would by its new Pixel phones.
The new launcher that is present in the Pixel phones is called Pixel Launcher, and it is going to be exclusive to the two handsets. The Pixel Launcher comes with a distinct Search Box, and it requires a "swipe up" gesture to show all of the device's apps. The launcher also has a unique date/weather header on Home.
Apart from the Pixel Launcher, other features that are going to be Pixel-exclusive include Google's response to Siri called Google Assistant, the Phone/Chat support that’s going to provide customer service 24/7 and the new Pixel Camera app that comes with photo-enhancing software features.
According to GSM Arena, Pixel owners will also get unlimited backup to Google Photos images and videos in full quality. Cosmetic changes like a blue system theme, wallpaper animations and a solid navigation bar will also be exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Per the leaked changelog, the feature called Smart Storage is also going to be Pixel-exclusive. This comes in handy when phone storage is full, since it automatically removes photos and videos that have already been backed up. The Sensor Hub processor with integrated sensor functionality and connectivity is also available to Pixel products only.
As for the features that will come with the Android 7.1 Nougat update for non-Pixel products, PhoneArena reports Night Light — the feature that gradually cuts the blue light from the display for less eye straining — is going to come to devices that will receive the update later this year. Display performance improvements, gesture commands for the fingerprint sensor, Daydream VR mode and seamless system updates are also part of the Nougat update.
The Android 7.1 Nougat update for non-Pixel devices would also come with a manual storage manager that identifies apps and files using storage. Certain developer features like app shortcuts, enhanced wallpaper metadata and keyboard image insertion are also indicated in the leaked changelog. These developer features are coming to certain Nexus devices and the Pixel C tablet before 2017, but Google has yet to reveal which Nexus devices are getting the developer preview.