Google confirms Top Shot isn't coming to the Pixel 2, despite some seeing "dots" in Motion Photos

When Google introduced Top Shot to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, it was viewed as a lifesaver for blurry shots, jittery shots, friends who’ve had too many shots (you know who they are), or just bad happenstance. Owners of other Pixel phones were a little jealous and wondered if the feature would ever make it back to their model. Well, the official answer is “no,” but if Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners happen to receive a Motion Photo taken on a Pixel 3, they should be able to see and save those Top Shots. Read MoreGoogle confirms Top Shot isn’t coming to the Pixel 2, despite some seeing “dots” in Motion Photos was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Playground and its AR Playmoji come to Pixel and Pixel 2 phones, new Travel pack lands [APK Download]

When the Pixel 3 debuted two months back, Google made sure its new flagship lineup was adorned with all the latest bells and whistles, introducing us to a whole bunch of new features in the process. From the get-go, we were curious to learn which of these might also make their way to older Pixel phones, and when. Over the past few weeks more and more have been expanding to new devices, and the latest to spread the love is Playground and its Playmoji packs, now formally available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. Read MoreGoogle Playground and its AR Playmoji come to Pixel and Pixel 2 phones, new Travel pack lands [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Pixel Sounds updated to v2.0, and it actually works now [APK Download]

Google laid the groundwork for a new app earlier this month, and now you can (maybe) use it. While the prospect of “Pixel Sounds” isn’t the most exciting, it improves a part of the Android experience that has long needed an overhaul. Pixel devices will soon have a more expansive set of ringtones with a much prettier interface. The app didn’t work when it first popped up, but v2.0 does, and it’s rolling out now. Read MorePixel Sounds updated to v2.0, and it actually works now [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Get a combined $400 off a Pixel 3 or 3 XL via Project Fi, plus discounts on other phones

Google has dropped the price on its latest pair of flagships via the Google Store between $150-200, but Project Fi is set to one-up that offer. From now until next Tuesday (11/27) you can get a cumulative $400 off either the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL — $200 in an up-front discount, and $200 in the form of bill credits.
Don’t like bill credits? You can also get an up-front $400 off the LG V35 ThinQ or G7 ThinQ with activation. Read MoreGet a combined $400 off a Pixel 3 or 3 XL via Project Fi, plus discounts on other phones was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Night Sight camera feature roll-out for all Pixel phones has begun

At the Pixel 3 launch event in October, Google unveiled the phone’s Night Sight feature which would allow the phone to capture incredible images when taking them in impossibly-dark situations. The feature built specifically for the Pixel 3, but Google announced that it would also be coming to the Pixel 2 and the original Pixel phones.
Night Sight was not yet read when the Pixel 3 made its retail debut last month, Google has announced that the new camera feature is being rolled out to all of its Pixel smartphones through an update to the camera app which can be downloaded from the Play Store.
Below are a few sample shots we’ve taken with Night Sight on the Pixel 3 compared to the camera’s Auto mode. As you can see, the images captured with Night Sight are dramatically brighter revealing details that were previously lost in the shadows and even allowing you to see a scene that was otherwise completely dark. Night Sight also comes in handy even if you can capture the Auto mode since it relies more on Google’s computational photography algorithms to fill in the color and deliver much better white balance.

If you’ve tested Night Sight out already, feel free to share a few of your images in the comments below.

What We Use, 2018 Edition: The stuff Rita can't live without

It’s been four years since I shared with you all the gadgets and quirky things that I own and love in my previous What We Use post. In the time since, a lot has changed in my personal life. I met the most awesome, weird, and pun-loving man. We got married, moved into an apartment of our own, and started traveling a little more frequently.
But a lot is still the same. Read MoreWhat We Use, 2018 Edition: The stuff Rita can’t live without was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

November OTA files, factory images, and security patch notes for Pixel and Nexus devices are up

One of the best benefits to owning Google’s hardware is the regular monthly updates, which deliver both bug fixes and security patches at a predictable schedule. Like clockwork, Google has just pushed out its November OTA files and Factory Images for Pixel and currently supported Nexus devices — or, at least, for most of them. Unfortunately, functional patches this month don’t seem to include fixes for any of the recent Pixel 3 issues just yet. Read MoreNovember OTA files, factory images, and security patch notes for Pixel and Nexus devices are up was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Now Playing History arrives on Pixel 2 and 2 XL

One of the coolest little features that came with the Pixel 2 was Now Playing, which would listen out for any music that was playing around you and try to identify it. It’s basically an always-on Shazam that shows you the track names on the lockscreen.
There’s always been one major drawback, though — if you’re not looking at your phone while the song is playing, you’ll miss out. Until the launch of the Pixel 3, there was no such thing as a list of all the songs previously identified. Read MoreNow Playing History arrives on Pixel 2 and 2 XL was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Modded Google Camera APK enables Night Sight for all Pixel devices (and it's impressive)

The guys at XDA Developers often like to tinker with APK files to enable hidden features, trigger specific behaviors, or spoil Google’s surprises prematurely. Their latest software shenanigans involve Google’s Camera app and the promised Night Sight feature that is supposed to come next month.

Announced with the Pixel 3, Night Sight is a low-light photography mode that ekes out every wave and particle of light to get clearer, better-lit shots in dark environments. Read MoreModded Google Camera APK enables Night Sight for all Pixel devices (and it’s impressive) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

The Pixel 3 XL is capable of 1440p60 HDR video playback

We recently learned that the Pixel 3 is pretty good at shooting video, and it turns out that it’s not bad at playing video back either. The Pixel 3 XL supports 1440p60 HDR playback, a step up from the Pixel 2 XL’s 1080p60 HDR maximum.

left: Pixel 3. right: Pixel 3 XL.
1440p60 HDR is something that high-end Samsung flagships were previously capable of, but Google took away that ability around a year ago due to performance issues. Read MoreThe Pixel 3 XL is capable of 1440p60 HDR video playback was written by the awesome team at Android Police.