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Google wants to know what you think of the Pixel design it stole from Apple’s iPhone

Zach Epstein
February 20th, 2017 at 1:54 PM
Pixel XL Vs iPhone 7 Plus

The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are the best flagship Android phones in the world right now, hands down. They might have had some serious competition from Samsung had the Galaxy Note 7 not gone up in smoke, but alas. There is some competition on the way, of course, with the annual Mobile World Congress trade show set to kick off this coming weekend. Expectations are somewhat high for the new LG G6 set to debut at the show, and the phone should be released soon after so that LG has some time to shine before the Galaxy S8 is unveiled late next month. But, for the time being, Google’s first Pixel phones are at the top of the pile.

There’s no question that the Pixel and Pixel XL feature fantastic specs and outstanding cameras. There’s also no question that the phones feature a design that is sleek and impressive, yet all too familiar. Yes, that’s a nice way of saying that Google blatantly ripped off the iconic design that Apple has used on its iPhones for the past three generations. This sleek design is good enough for Apple fans, who have been purchasing tens of millions of them each quarter. But is the design good enough for Android fans? Google wants to know what you think.

In a post on Google’s product forum last week, Pixel phone product lead Krishna Kumar wrote the following:

Jared Spool, the founder of the Massachusetts-based firm User Interface Engineering, wrote: “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it”.

Developing a design is an exhilarating and at the same time a terrifying (Oh God, did we make the right choice???) exercise.

Here is a fascinating peek (A phone of Google’s own) behind the development of the Pixel design – from the design team endlessly obsessing over the angle of the phone’s edges and its feel in hand, to the texture of the power key, to color selection and cheeky names – and some of the choices and trade-offs that went behind the Pixel design!

I would like to hear your thoughts. What do you like about the design? What do you hate about it? What did we get right? What would you like to see us improve?

…the thread promptly exploded. After receiving more than 1,000 replies, Kumar ended up closing the thread and Google started a second one to collect more feedback. Both threads feature a mix of people looking to share their thoughts and people looking to complain that the Pixel and Pixel XL are still too difficult to find in stock, just as you might expect. There are some interesting points in there though, and it’ll be even more interesting to see if Google can incorporate any of the more useful feedback into its Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 designs later this year.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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