Четверг, 13 июня 2019 23:26

Google leaks its own phone

Details of the Pixel 4 have been swirling around this week, so Google  decided to just leak the design of its next phone via its official Twitter account, revealing the backplate and new camera module on the smartphone. 

“Well, since there seems to be some interest, here you go! Wait ’til you see what it can do. #Pixel4,” the tweet from the company’s verified @MadeByGoogle account read. 

Renders of the Pixel 4 had leaked this week via smartphone blog Pricebaba. 

The back of the phone makes some big changes. Most noticeable is the now-square camera module with a pair of lenses, a flash module and a couple of other sensor modules. Also noteworthy is the apparent lack of a rear fingerprint reader, in contrast to past models. There’s not much else evident here; they didn’t post renders of the device’s front.

 
Google’s Pixel 3 release kind of cemented that Google doesn’t stake much of the Pixel line’s strengths on hardware specs, it’s all about what it can leverage machine learning software tricks to do within those bounds. 

On that note, it’s worth noting that Google has been pretty late to the two-camera rear-module setup; at past events the company has always justified this by suggesting that because of their software they can do more with one than most can do with two. This was clearly the case given the strengths of their cameras, but there are undoubtedly advantages to having dual cameras with different specs; it seems Google is now ready to take this plunge.

Shazam, the Apple-owned app that helps users identify songs playing around them, can now recognize songs you’re listening to through your headphones when using an Android phone or tablet. 

Acquired by Apple for $400 million last year, the company introduced a feature called ‘Pop-Up Shazam’ to its Android app this week that, when enabled, works with any other Android app to track and identify songs playing externally or internally on the phone. 

 



It’s a feature that many users have requested for years. Prior to this, when a user would chance upon a music track in say a YouTube video, they only had two inconvenient ways to shazam the song. They could either unplug the earphones from the phone and let the audio play through the built-in speakers, or draw an earpiece close to the mic of the phone.

 
The new feature enables Shazam to track the audio signal beaming off of other apps, thereby not completely relying on just output from the surrounding and a phone’s speaker. The app is tapping the audio signal by using a persistent notification that floats around and could be dragged — like the ones from Facebook Messenger — and can be activated by a single tap. 

In our test, the feature worked as advertised through both wired and wireless earphones (amusingly, Apple’s AirPods) and on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube apps. iPhone users hoping to use a similar feature will likely have to patiently wait as persistent notification isn’t something that Apple’s mobile operating system currently supports. Apple could potentially find an alternative workaround in the future. 

Google has taken a shot at audio recognition in recent years, too, after it introduced a ‘Now Playing’ feature in its Pixel 3 series smartphone last year. If enabled, the phone actively looks for songs playing in the surrounding, identifies them and keeps a log.