We’re just a few months away from Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launch, and we already know a bunch of details about the next Pixel handsets. Reports say the phones will be made by HTC and LG, which means they won’t share the same design. The smaller Pixel 2 will resemble the original handset, while the LG-made Pixel 2 XL feature an all-screen design. In addition to great design and specs, the Pixel 2 should offer new software tricks as well, and some digging has turned up a brand new display feature that users will definitely appreciate.
Digging through Android O Developer Preview 3 code, xda-developers found references to what may be an always-on display mode for Google’s Pixel phones. It’s unclear at this time when or even if Google will enable it, but since references are already in the code, the feature may very well be enabled once the Pixel 2 arrives.
Always-on displays work best on devices that sport AMOLED display, as the feature doesn’t eat up a lot of energy while showing certain elements on the screen even while keeping most of the display’s pixels turned off. Samsung introduced its own always-on display mode last year with the Galaxy S7, but Google didn’t follow suit, even if support for this display mode already existed in Android.
The Pixel does have an AMOLED display, and the Pixel 2 will likely feature a similar screen this year. That means Google could turn the feature on if it wanted to as soon as the Pixel 2 arrives. The Pixel 2 will also sport a more energy-efficient processor, though, which would mean the introduction of an always-on mode makes even more sense on the phone.
The final version of Android O should ship in August, while the Pixel 2 series will probably launch in late September or early October.