Google’s Pixel line of smartphones are fan favorites among hardcore Android users, but not many other people buy them. In fact, Apple sells more smartphones during the course of one launch weekend than Google sold all year in 2017. They might not be the most popular smartphones out there, but Google’s Pixel handsets have clear-cut benefits over phones from other Android vendors like Samsung and LG. The most talked about benefits among gadget fans are undoubtedly the “pure” Android experience and the fact that Pixel phones have access to new Android software as soon as it’s released, instead of many months later like phones from Google’s partners.
Android P is set to be released later this year, and it’s one of Google’s most exciting updates in years. There’s already a public beta available for Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and a handful of third-party phones, and then the final release will happen toward the end of the summer. Of course, most Android phones won’t have access to Android P until sometime in 2019, so you likely have much longer to wait before you can get your hands on Android P for your phone. Of course, if you don’t want to wait to gain access to Android P’s best new features, there’s a way to get your hands on them right now. In fact, you can basically transform your Android phone into a Pixel phone thanks to some very nifty new free software.
The folks over at xda-developers — of course it was going to be xda-developers — have created a new ROM for phones compatible with Project Treble called “Pixel Experience.” As the name suggests, the ROM is designed to bring Google’s Pixel phone experience to other smartphones.
Project Treble, as you’ll recall, is a new feature of Android Oreo and later Android versions that changes the way software updates are applied. It should theoretically lead to quicker updates for non-Google Android phones, but for the time being all you need to know is that it lets you check out the awesome new Pixel Experience ROM from xda. Is your phone compatible? You can check this list on Github to find out.
Beyond the look, feel, and new gesture navigation from the Pixel, the Pixel Experience ROM brings a wide range of features from Android P to phones running Oreo. Here’s a video that walks through some of what you’ll find in the Pixel Experience ROM:
Now, it’s important to not that while the installation process isn’t too complicated, you probably shouldn’t mess with this if you’re not already familiar with rooting your Android phone or installing ROMs. It’s tough to mess things up too badly, but you’re just asking for a headache if you’re not already somewhat familiar with the process. If you are somewhat savvy and you’re ready to get started, you’ll find the Pixel Experience ROM here and a full installation guide from xda-developers here.