In the latest Android O developer preview, there’s some code that indicates Google is working on Always On Display for Pixel devices. At the moment, Ambient Display on Pixel and Nexus devices is a way to glance at notifications via a black and white screen. The screen enables when your phone is taken out of a pocket or pulses when a notification comes in.
A Google Pixel running Android O Developer Preview 3 was used to decompile the SystemUIGoogle.apk file where a string of code points towards the Always on Display for Pixel.
For those who’re unaware, the word ‘doze’ in the code refers to Ambient Display. This tunable will be a toggle that enables ‘doze_always_on’. Given that doze means Ambient Display, it clearly means that this toggle will activate an experimental AOD mode on Google Pixel. It is said to be experimental because this toggle is placed within ‘tuner_prefs.xml’ which describes the features that are positioned within the hidden SystemUI Tuner.
Keeping their controversial design aside, Google Pixel XL and Pixel rank among the best smartphones around there, offering a pure and fast Android experience. Nevertheless, there’s one feature that has been missing from the get-go: Google’s Always On Display feature. AOD isn’t new at all, it was first introduced by Nokia, then Motorola brought it to the Android world, and Samsung and LG also made it truly conventional.
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To recollect, Ambient Display has already got an update in Android O that is meant for displaying notifications’ icons instead of the full-fledged text. Besides, it included a feature that turns off the display whenever it spots an obstruction on the proximity sensor. This feature will help in averting all those unnecessary butt dials.
Android O is getting closer to its final preview and it is still unclear whether the alleged Always On Display for Pixel phones would make it to the final list of features in the public rollout. The search engine Google has already ditched most of the SystemUI Tuner features that it had commenced in the previous developer preview versions.
It remains to see if Pixel devices would finally get the AOD mode that would make use of the AMOLED display. So, keep a sharp tab on our blog whether the suspected feature makes it to the forthcoming Android O Developer Preview 4 or not.
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