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Leak reveals new features coming to Google’s Pixel phones

Google Pixel XL Android 7.1 Features

When Google unveils the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones on October 4th, we’ll say goodbye to a bunch of things, including the Nexus brand, vanilla Android experience and low-cost Google devices. Recent leaks revealed almost everything there is to know about the new Google phones, but it looks like the company has more surprises in store, especially on the software side.

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Google Now is dead

This isn’t going to be a Pixel-only feature. In fact, you can already “get it.” It appears that Google has grown tired with Google Now and Google Now on Tap. In version 6.5.26 of the Google Search app that began rolling out on Wednesday, Google Now cards have been renamed to “Feed,” and Now on Tap is “Screen search.”

The move is likely tied to the launch of the Google Assistant, which will probably arrive when the Pixel phones come out as part of the rumored Android 7.1 Nougat update. Of course, you can already try Google Assistant now in the company’s new Allo app.

Reset button

If computers have reset buttons, why can’t smartphones have the same option? That’s one thing you may have wanted for years, and Google is finally adding it — well, others have done it before, but Google is now supporting it.

According to Android Police, the Pixel phones will have a reboot button in the power menu that will let you restart the phone.

Round is the new square

A teardown of the Pixel Launcher reveals that Google is going to go all in on round launcher icons. That’s not necessarily a major change, but you won’t miss it, as all apps will have circular icons moving forward. It’s not clear at this point whether the circular shape has anything to do with potential Pixel Launcher features that are yet to be uncovered.

Of all the new round icons, the Calendar app is getting a special feature: It’ll automatically change the image to display the current date.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.