Pixel Experience adds a Now Playing-like feature to the OnePlus 6
Google has many good features built into their stock ROMs that are hard to port to other devices. This includes features like Now Playing and Call Screening. Well, at the moment full ports of both those features are not possible. Features similar, on the other hand, are possible. The Pixel Experience team added a new feature that mimics Now Playing into their Android Pie ROM which is out now for the OnePlus 6. This feature was created by the CypherOS team.
Now Playing was a feature released with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It keeps the ambient microphones on all the time, listening for music to recognize and display on your screen. This might not seem impressive until you realize all of this is happening all the time and without any network connection. Now Playing works by keeping a database of 10s of thousands of songs on the device. This means that the phone can almost always recognize any song being played while being offline and using minimal battery. Google did this with sound fingerprints for each song to make the database file small. They actually introduced this technology into the Google Assistant sound search.
This feature on the Pixel Experience ROM for the OnePlus 6 works a bit differently. While looking through the source code, XDA Senior member Codebucket discovered how this implementation works. It seems as though Pixel Experience will require a network connection and will drain the battery a bit. It does this by using the SoundHound music search technology and building it into the system of the phone.
Now Playing is one of my favorite features on any phone. The idea that I can go back at any point and look at any song I have listened to without having to have specifically searched for it is just amazing. That with the fact that it uses almost no battery makes it the all around best feature in my book. Seeing this kind of thing ported to other phones is great because now I can have the OnePlus 6 specs with the Pixel software. A dream phone in my book.