Here’s something interesting. On Google’s product page for the Pixel 6
and Pixel 6 Pro
, both of which run Android 12 (the latest build of Google’s mobile operating system), the company makes a point of discussing every important feature of the new models. Yet when it comes time to discuss the operating system driving the handsets, Google says nothing about Android and doesn’t even mention the words “operating system.”
Google’s Product Page for the new Pixels oddly fails to mention Android 12
talks about the quarterly Pixel
feature drop by discussing “software updates and new features dropping every few months.” The Material You” UI is called “A new experience from Google that’s all about you.”
Even though the product page mentions the Pixel 6
lineup’s hardware features, there is not a single word written about Android. You would think that just as Apple promotes the fact that it designs both the iPhone hardware and the software used on the device, Google would do the same with the Pixel. As pointed out by Notebook Check
, even Samsung points out on its product page that its Galaxy phones use Android.
Could it be a clue that Android’s rumored successor Fuchsia is closer than ever to being deployed by Google? We emphatically say “No!” Google wouldn’t custom design a chip to work so seamlessly with Android if Fuchsia was on the way. Nor would it have redesigned the look and feel of Android if the OS had just a couple of years left.
What makes this decision not to promote Android on the new Pixels even stranger is that it is the software experience that consumers think of when they choose the new Pixels over the new iPhone models. Google is amazing when it comes to adding features to Android that make the Pixels more useful than the iPhone. Truthfully, many find iOS boring and those choosing to buy a new Pixel over the iPhone are doing so for one reason-when it comes to software Apple cannot compete with Google.
Time to get the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro
For example, the feature called “Hold for Me” that allows Google Assistant
to monitor a phone call for you when you’re placed on hold is something that everyone can use. Would you rather have Macro Mode on your phone or the aforementioned Assistant feature? Which one is more useful to you over the course of an average day?
Other features like Duplex, which can call and schedule appointments for you, might still need some work. But the bottom line is that Google sees the smartphone as a tool to make users’ lives easier. Apple’s view on reducing pain points might be a little too short-sighted; while Google allows you not to have to listen for an agent to return to a call after putting you on hold, Apple
celebrates the ability of an unlocked Apple Watch
to unlock your handset.
Live Text is the most Google-like feature added to the iPhone this year
It’s not that the iPhone doesn’t have a useful new tool in Live Text. As Apple describes it, the feature can “copy and share text, open websites, compose emails, and make phone calls from text that appears within the camera frame.” For example, iPhone users can easily tap on a picture to call a phone number on an image or tap to send email to an email address printed on a business card. Live Text is the most Google-like new feature added to iOS this year and can be extremely useful.
But the jury is out on Focus although the premise of the feature is simple enough. Tell the iPhone your status and once selected, notifications from apps that might distract you from completing your tasks are blocked. And you can customize the people and apps that are blocked from contacting you regardless of your current status.
For example, if you tell the iPhone that you are working, you can set up your handset to block calls and notifications from contacts that are not associated with your work. Ditto for notifications from apps that you might use when off the job.
We wonder how many iPhone users are actually using what is essentially a version of Do Not Disturb on steroids. We also are curious to know whether you would find Focus more useful or the Pixel’s “Hold for Me.”
Forget the specs, forget the process node used to manufacture each chip. Heck, you can even forget battery life. What is going to drive you to buy a specific phone is how useful it is in your daily life. And that comes down to whether the features on a phone eliminate your pain points.