Verizon Google Pixel Android Oreo Update Page Mentions Always On Ambient Display and Instant Apps in Pixel Launcher

Verizon Google Pixel Android Oreo Update Page Mentions Always On Ambient Display and Instant Apps in Pixel Launcher

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When it was announced that Google’s self-branded Pixel series would be available for Verizon Wireless last year, many wondered how the update process would be handled. Google is still able to push out OTA updates to unlocked versions of the Pixel faster, but to their credit Verizon hasn’t been slow when it comes to OTA updates for the Pixel phones. While the Android Oreo roll out to Verizon Pixel devices isn’t all that surprising today, there are two tidbits in the page that stuck out to us in particular: always-on display and instant apps in the Pixel Launcher.

First, this support page for the Oreo update talks about the ambient display always-on mode feature that we have talked about in the past. We initially assumed that this feature would only go live on the second generation Google Pixel phones, but according to this page the feature will be supported on the first generation Pixel smartphones as well. The Verizon Google Pixel page even goes on to explain that the always-on display will transition to Google’s built-in ambient display feature when a notification comes in.

Another screenshot on this Verizon support page talks about the Search Apps field when you bring up the application drawer. But what is more interesting is that you can see application icons for things such as BuzzFeed and Airbnb’s instant apps. We discovered this change in a commit that was published to AOSP and it allows system installed launchers to see instant apps on the device. Sadly, this means that Nova Launcher and other 3rd-party launchers from the Play Store will not have this functionality.

We aren’t sure if these images are a mistake or if Verizon is spilling the beans early on upcoming features, but the inclusion of these two features would not be a surprise given our findings.

Update: we have also now found another commit that proves the icons shown in the latter screenshot are indeed instant apps. The lightning bolt signifies that the app is an Instant App, as shown here.


Source: Verizon Wireless Via: 9to5Google