Google’s highly anticipated Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro event happens next week, and the new flagships will soon be released. But fans aren’t just waiting for the new Pixel 6 series. A variety of rumors said that 2021 will be the year when Google unveils its first foldable Pixel phone. The “Pixel Fold” name isn’t official, but it’s what we’ve been calling this device all year long. More recent rumors said that Google might not actually launch its first-gen foldable device during the Pixel 6 show, but it might still tease the Pixel Fold.
With just a few days to go until the Google press conference, the company made an unexpected announcement that practically confirms the Google Pixel Fold.
The future is unfolding
Google partnered with Samsung to launch a big marketing push for the new Samsung Galaxy foldables. That includes the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 that Samsung unveiled in mid-August. There’s no question these are the best foldable phones Samsung ever made. They feature improved durability and much better prices. The Flip 3 costs as much as the base iPhone 13 Pro, and it will compete against the Pixel 6 Pro when it comes to cost.
“The future is unfolding,” Google tells us in a blog post and several YouTube videos. But the Google-Samsung partnership on foldables doesn’t end there. Google created an “Unfold With Google” site that promotes the two new Samsung foldable handsets, offering buyers the chance to purchase them.
How is this all relevant to the Pixel Fold? Well, Google isn’t just repeating Samsung’s main Fold 3 and Flip 3 selling points. It’s actually highlighting all the Google apps that you might want to use on one of these foldable handsets.
The Pixel Fold software is ready
Google’s blog post is titled “The best of Google available on Samsung Galaxy foldables.” That hints that Google is about to demo various apps optimized for foldable screens. In fact, that’s what Google is already doing in this blog post.
Google highlights several Google experiences on foldable handsets. We’re looking at YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Google Duo, Google Workspace, and augmented reality in Google Maps. It also name-drops the Google Play store, which gives foldable phone users access to millions of apps and games.
The company created short videos to showcase its apps running on Samsung foldable phones. This massive marketing effort tells us that the key Pixel Fold feature has been in development for quite some time. That’s the software experience, of course, which includes plenty of Google apps. And these Google apps would offer the same experience on the Pixel Fold, of course.
That said, the partnership with Samsung isn’t that surprising. The Korean giant is at the forefront of foldable phone development. But it desperately needs Google to play along. Since the early days of the first Pixel Fold, Samsung partnered with Google to ensure Android is optimized to work on foldable devices featuring multiple screens. That partnership continued, and it now includes Google selling Fold and Flip devices.
Now that Google is ready to help Samsung sell foldable handsets, it’ll be interesting to see whether it also unveils its own Pixel Fold next week.