According to folks at XDA, Google could be working on bringing the always-on ambient display mode to the Pixel smartphones, current and future. The Android O Developer Preview 3 consists of a code that points towards the same. In case you have no idea about its working, always-on display makes it possible for users to see some information on the screen without waking the device up. Motorola made a name for itself out of this idea in 2013 with Moto X. However, it was called always-active display back then. Google came up with a similar feature dubbed ambient display in Android Lollipop, which operated similarly, except for one thing; it would show up only when there were notifications, which was miles apart from always-on display in the true sense. Although Google fixed a few things in Android 7.1.1 Nougat, this feature somewhat remained the same. The only difference, users need to double tap or lift the phone up.
In coming months, things could be different, and Google could leverage the idea to its full potential. If you recall, Samsung started implementing the always-on display with 2016’s flagship Galaxy S7 line. As part of the feature, users can see information such as notifications, clock, and calendar all the time, hence the name “always-on.”
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The feature is more convenient than ambient display given that it eliminates the need to interact with the screen simply to see some information, which is great. All you need to do is flip the device over or lift it up, and the information will gently fade on. Google is slated to release the next Pixel smartphone sometime later this year. If Google is positive about bringing this feature to life, we can expect the next Pixel phone to offer the latest version of Android and compatible hardware to make the always-on ambient display mode working. Unfortunately, Folks at XDA could not access the feature themselves. Hence, we will have to wait for some time to see the feature live in action.