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The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were without a doubt, the fastest phones running on Android in 2016 and early 2017. While that title might be up for debate now with the launch of a number of smartphones with the next gen flagship processors in 2017, they continue to remain two of the fastest phones that you can buy. In terms of software optimization and camera performance however, they are arguably, still unmatched. With all that said and done, if there was only one gripe about those two smartphones, it would be the design. They just look so outdated compared to the competition, especially with those giant top and bottom bezels. Well, the bad news is that the design may not change much unfortunately.


If the latest report by Forbes turns out to be true, then HTC will be making this year's Pixel phones as well and they will largely reflect the same disappointing design language as that of the HTC U11. In order to find out more about how HTC Soku came to this conclusion by going through the U11's system files, check out the Forbes article here.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


 

Just when we thought phones were reaching tablet category with 5.5-inch screen size, bezel-less smartphones from Xiaomi and Samsung pushed the boundary much further than it was ever thought to be feasible without sacrificing portability and usability. However, reports are now indicating that the upcoming Taimen could even dwarf the likes of the Mi Mix and the Galaxy S8.

 

 

Leaked on Geekbench, the Taimen will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip and 4GB of RAM, with Android O running out of the box. However the intriguing aspect of the smartphone which you see in this article (possibly) is the name itself. Google has always used fish names (go figure!) to code name its devices and the size of the actual fish in real life always had some sort of a connection to the actual size of the phones. What this basically means is the bigger the fish, the larger the phone and the Taimen is a lot bigger than the Marlin (Pixel XL 5.4-inch). The original report by Forbes suggests that it could also be a tablet but maintains that it is most likely not as Google has traditionally used Nvidia Tegra chips for its tablets.

 

Source: Forbes

 

Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It is now official, all iOS devices will be getting Google's latest AI powered voice assistant. It looks like Siri's days of monopoly are finally over for iDevices. No date was confirmed but the news was made official at the I/O earlier. It would have come as a complete surprise, had it not been for an earlier report by Android Police which hinted at the same. According to Android Authority, "it will "likely" combine its voice command features with the chat functions found on the Google Allo version of Assistant." It would be interesting to see how they implement it on the iPhone.


Microsoft Cortana is already available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store, but till date, the Google Assistant had been exclusive to certain Android smartphones only. It looks like the competition is about to get really hot for AI assistants on both platforms sooner than we previously thought. If only Bixby (outside South Korea) had a bit more to bring to the table, things could have been even more interesting.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It was confirmed during the Mobile World Congress earlier, when Rick Osterloh, SVP of Goggle hardware said "There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it," This more or less can be paraphrased into, 'yes, we are going to release a newer and better version of the Pixel this year, just like all the other major OEMs.'


Just like you, we were also wondering if he would give us a date or at least a rough timeline regarding the next Pixel's launch. However, it was not to be so, as he had this to say; "You can count on a successor this year, even if you don't hear a date from me now."


While the Pixel did already come with the latest processor, Google Assistant, the latest Nougat OS, a Quad HD AMOLED display (XL) and a fantastic set of cameras, what we would have really appreciated was a bigger battery. Hopefully, the Pixel 2 series of smartphones will offer better battery life, along with all the other upgraded bells and whistles. In spite of it being too early to predict anything, what we can say for sure is that the Google phones will sport the latest version of the Android OS (Android v8.0 possibly), as well as the minimum of a Snapdragon 835 SoC.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Up until yesterday, Google's new voice assistant was exclusively available to the Pixel and the Pixel XL. However, Google has now made it official that the company is currently rolling out Google Assistant to multiple devices that are running on Android Marshmallow 6.0 or higher and Android Nougat 7.0 or higher. We knew that some of the upcoming devices like the LG G6 and the Moto G5/G5 Plus were going to come with the AI powered voice assistant right out of the box, but this is a pleasantly surprising and new development. The original announcement was made at the MWC earlier and now it's happening as you read this.

The United States is of course the first to get the personal assistant, but Australia, Canada and the UK should also start to receive the same soon enough. By the way, in case you are wondering if a package will need to be downloaded via OTA, let us assure you that it won't be necessary. The eligible devices will simply see Google Assistant show up on their phones. Long pressing the Home button on an updated device will bring up the AI assistant, actively replacing Google Search. Is this good news to you or do you simply not care about it? Let us know in the comments.

Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)

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