Here's a look at the 'exclusive' version of Android that Google is reserving for its new Pixel smartphones
Antonio Villas-BoasOct 5, 2016, 11.54 PM
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The Pixel is here and it's taking over the Nexus line as Google's special phone!
Yet, Google is doing things a little differently with the Pixels than it did with the Nexii smartphones by adding a layer on top of stock Android, called a launcher, to add more features and update the overall look and feel of Android.
Check out the Pixel launcher, which is exclusive to Pixel smartphone owners:
It's more polished and cleaner than the stock version of Android 7.0 you'd find on a Nexus. Google's app icons are also all round.
There's no more button for the app drawer. Instead, you swipe up from the mini arrow above the app dock.
The Pixel launcher comes with Google's helpful voice-enabled AI bot called Assistant. You can swipe the "pill" button on the top left, or summon it by saying "Ok Google."
You can ask Google Assistant questions and it can perform tasks, like searching for things like photos, sending texts, and reserving a table at a restaurant.
Google Assistant might be baked into the Pixel launcher, but you can still use Google Assistant in the Google Allo messenger app, which is available to almost any smartphone, including iPhones.
Google also gives Pixel owners free, unlimited cloud storage at their original resolutions for photos in Google Photos. For non-Pixel users, Google Photos also saves unlimited photos taken with cameras up to 16 megapixels. Anything higher and the photo will be compressed.
Pixel owners get 24/7 customer care to help out with any problems they might be having with the phone.
And the Pixel launcher has a feature that'll make it easier to transfer data from any other device, including iPhones, via a cable.
It also comes pre-loaded with Google Duo, the company's new video chat app, but you can get it on any phone, even iPhones.
Google says the Pixel launcher is exclusive to the Pixel smartphone, and its features won't make it to the company's previous Nexus devices.