Google may bring always on ambient display to Pixel and Pixel XL with Android O

Google may bring always on ambient display to Pixel and Pixel XL with Android O
Google may bring always on ambient display to Pixel and Pixel XL with Android O

Google Pixel and Pixel XL are two of the best smartphones out there in the market right now. However, both of them had something missing: Always On Displays. Such displays, known as AODs in short, turn out to be very useful for various purposes, especially in today’s age when mobiles have become the go-to destinations for watching time instead of wrist watches. It also helps to take a quick glance on notifications.

But AODs are not something new – Nokia brought them a long time ago, and Motorola, LG and Samsung popularized them in Android ecosystem. Initially there were some concerns about the effects of AODs on battery life, but now after the advent of highly power efficient OLED display panels those concerns have largely been addressed.

Since both Pixel smartphones launched by the company last year come with OLED displays, it was a little strange to see the lack of this feature in them.

But now it seems that Google wants to correct that mistake, and the feature may make its way to both Pixels by the time of Android O. Because inside the Developer Preview 3 of Android O, there’s a SystemUIGoogle.apk file whose code suggests that AOD feature may be coming to both Pixel smartphones with this update.

The source code has a “doze_always_on” command inside it, where doze refers to the Ambient Display and not the battery saving feature that was launched with Marshmallow. This suggests that Android O may bring a toggle option to turn on the AOD feature on Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

However, there’s a catch with this. As of now this feature is hidden inside “tuner_prefs.xml”, which means it’s hidden deep inside device settings. You also can’t access and activate this feature if you’ve installed Developer Preview 3 – you’ll have to wait till final version of the OS is released by the company.

In a nutshell, as of now it’s unclear whether this feature will make it to the final release of Android O or not. Google may keep it that way, or remove it altogether – it’s entirely up to them! But there’s certainly a possibility now, which is a good news for AOD lovers. If released officially, this feature can certainly be a great new addition to the Android experience of Pixel phones.


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