Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL impressed many who followed their unveiling on October 4. While users around the world are eagerly waiting to get their hands on the new devices, reports are circulating on the Internet about two secrets of the latest handsets that many people didn't know about earlier.
Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL currently feature the highest-rated smartphone cameras in the market. But, Google apparently is still not satisfied with the quality of images they capture, and is working on an upgrade that will make the Pixel 2 cameras even better.
The Pixel 2 series carries an image processing chip, named "Pixel Visual Core", which is currently lying dormant inside the devices. The chip, which wasn't mentioned by Google at the launch of the new handsets, is reportedly the company's first custom-designed co-processor for consumer products, Forbes reported.
Five times more powerful than the main chip
The chip is said to have been designed to offer enhanced image processing performance while consuming less power. The chip, which is expected to be activated "in the coming months" through a software update, will allow third-party apps to use Google's HDR+ feature, something which is currently exclusive to the company's indigenous camera app.
Pixel Visual Core is an eight-core processor that can deliver three trillion operations per second per core, meaning that the chip is capable of processing images five times faster than the phone's main processor. Despite its powerful processing capability, the chip consumes only one-tenth of the power.
According to Forbes, Pixel Visual Core will be enabled in the upcoming Android Oreo 8.1 (MR1) developer preview, which is due in the coming weeks. Soon after that, the chip will also be made accessible to third-party apps via the Android Camera API.
The hidden menu button
The Pixel 2 series has yet another surprise for its users in the form of an old-school menu button. Although the feature is now out of fashion, the brand new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL still include it in the right corner of the navigation bar, at the bottom of the screen.
As spotted by Android Police, tapping the button brings up an app's main menu bar, which can come in handy, especially on the bigger and taller Pixel 2 XL. Check out the hidden menu button in action below:
Launching the secret menu, however, seems to be the hardest part as you will need an app it actually works with. As demoed in the video, the button can be used while in the phone's Settings app.
In addition, the button also apparently works with other official Google apps like Chrome, Messages, Calendar, Docs, Calculator and YouTube.
Since the menu doesn't show up on the original Pixel phones, it isn't likely to be a feature of Android Oreo. While it's unclear if the feature will come to other apps, it could also be something that Google probably left behind from development.