Google’s renaming of its Nexus Launcher to Pixel Launcher marked the beginning of the birth of the Google Pixel lineup, and we’ve spent a lot of time keeping our ears and eyes to the ground lately — looking for information about the upcoming Google phones that is sure to inform our readership about what to expect. Well, we know that these two new Google phones will have IP53 splash resistance that matches the HTC 10 (not surprising, given that HTC is making the new Pixel phones). We’ve even seen the Pixel up-close, though briefly, and in photos that tell us the build quality without us having to wait and see at the announcement. A trusted source is now claiming that the new phones will get a Google Pixel reboot button for the first time in Google’s 8-year history in Android.
The source, Android Police, says that there isn’t much evidence to go on for a Google Pixel reboot button in the power down menu, and that Google could remove this reboot button after the software’s final changes (in other words, Google could’ve added it for developer help only), but it seems unlikely at this point that Google would add such a feature and then take it away.
The Google Pixel reboot button allows you to press one button and restart the device, as opposed to tapping a few times in order to bring it about. Up until now, Nexus devices have mandated that the user cut the phone off, then turn the phone back on, whereas the new restart button (or reboot button) will allow the Google Pixel user to restart with one easy tap. The Google Pixel reboot button will remove the frustration some have had with restarting their devices, particularly if the screen freezes or the user’s WiFi or LTE data is acting weird. Basic reboots are key to moving past quirky problems that occasionally happen with handsets.
It seems as though Google is doing all it can to touch up the areas where it lacks, and the restart or Google Pixel reboot button is one of those areas. Samsung and LG have had this in their UIs for some time now, and Google, as usual, has lagged behind. What’s interesting, though, is that Google is trying to bring functionality users have craved to its Pixel lineup and completely revamping its vanilla Android look. The claim at the time the company assumed ownership of Android is that “OEM bloatware” was devouring what was meant to be a clean and pure experience. Companies like Samsung have revamped their UIs while maintaining functionality, so much so that most Android consumers could care less about vanilla Android these days.
When all is said and done, though, it’s nice to see Google making some positive changes. The Google Pixel phones (whether or not they have a restart button) will be announced on October 4th. We could also see a Google VR headset on the Daydream platform announced at that time as well, though we’ll need more information before you can bank on it.