Google might be working on an Always-On Display mode for the Pixel and Pixel XL, according to a post over on the venerable XDA Developers community forums. Evidence was reportedly found in a break-down of APK data spotted in the latest Android O Developer Preview – running on a Pixel phone, of course.
The SystemUIGoogle.apk includes the following code:
According to the clever bods at XDA Developers, the “doze” refers to the Ambient Display feature already present on Google Pixel phones; this feature currently activates the display in black and white when the handset detects it has been taken out of your pocket, or if a pulse notification occurs – users can then glance at the on-screen info briefly, but it is not strictly “Always-On”.
Previously “doze” referred to the power-saving feature Google added to Android Marshmallow, but for whatever reason we’re not programmer-y enough to understand, the people at XDA Developers don’t think Google’s engineers are referring to the same feature in this case. If it does mean what they suspect, then that string essentially means “Ambient Display Always On”
While it’s interesting that this feature is noted in the Android O Developer Preview, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will arrive with Android O. The way the code has been implemented means it’s quite easy for Google to remove it and reintroduce it into a subsequent build if, for exmaple, it wants to continue further testing.
What do you think readers? We’re of the view that with the Pixel series using AMOLED displays there’s no earthly reason why it shouldn’t mimic the likes of Samsung with an Always-On Display (AOD) feature; it could also be implemented so that it can be easily switched off as an optional feature.
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