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Three, two, one: New ways to control Google Pixel Buds

Three, two, one: New ways to control Google Pixel Buds

Google Pixel Buds let you do a lot with just a quick touch. When you use Pixel Buds with your Pixel or other Android device with the Assistant, simply touch and hold the right earbud to ask for your favorite playlist, make a call, send a message or get walking directions to dinner. And, it allows you to control your audio too—just swipe forward or backward to control volume and tap to play or pause your music.

We’re adding three highly-requested features with the latest update that is beginning to roll out today. It’s as easy as 3, 2, 1.

Triple tap: On and off with touch.Pixel Buds can now be manually turned on or off by triple-tapping on the right earbud.

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Double tap: Next track.Until now, double tapping let you hear notifications as they arrived on your phone. Now you can set double-tap to skip to the next track. To enable this, go to the Pixel Buds’ settings within the Google Assistant app on your phone and enable double-tap to skip to the next track. You can continue to use a Google Assistant voice command to skip tracks, even if you assign two taps to the “next” track feature.

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One easy switch: Pairing devices made easy. To switch your Pixel Buds connection between your phone and computer (or any device you’ve previously paired), select your Pixel Buds from the BluetoothTM menu of the desired device. Your Pixel Buds will disconnect from the device you were using and connect to the new one.

These updates are starting to roll out today and will be available to everyone by early next week. Go to g.co/pixelbuds to learn more.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, hardware, Pixel

Get outside and smell the flowers with #teampixel

Whether you’re into mountain landscapes or city skyscrapers, Pixel photographers take you out on some incredible adventures this week. Sit back, relax, and let #teampixel transport you to a blue paradise, a reflective lake, and even an underwater swim with jellyfish.

The next time you’re on an outdoor adventure, tag your Pixel photos with #teampixel and you might be featured on @google or The Keyword.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel
“A Good Night” with John Legend and Pixel 2

“A Good Night” with John Legend and Pixel 2

John Legend just premiered the music video for his new single “A Good Night”—and it was filmed entirely on Pixel 2. We spoke to John about the inspiration behind the video and what it’s like living and communicating in the digital age.

Keyword: Tell us about the inspiration behind the music video for “A Good Night.”

John: The song and the video are about a magical night where you meet someone you immediately connect with and can envision a future together. You’re single, dating, probably using all the apps people use now (I haven’t dated since the advent of Tinder, etc., but it’s a fascinating era in romance), and not finding someone special. But one night—maybe caught up in the music or the drinks or whatever—you meet someone that changes everything. That’s a good night! 

The video is set in a club and visually represents the swiping left of the apps by literally swiping dating candidates away. But eventually our couple finds each other. And then, during the bridge, we see things transform into a fantasy future where our couple sees themselves getting married. It turns into a beautiful celebration of love and connection. All DJ’ed and hosted by yours truly!

"A Good Night" music video

Why did you decide to shoot it on Pixel?

We thought it would be cool to shoot it on Pixel because the camera is amazing and we were fascinated by the idea of using a smartphone to film a big budget music video, a video that brings the smartphone dating experience to life.

What’s your favorite moment from the video?

I love the transformation scene in the bridge where you see everything freeze and become surreal before we fast forward to a fantasy wedding.

What surprised you about filming the video with smartphones?

It was really seamless. We’re so used to doing everything with expensive cameras when we do these major shoots. But the experience of filming with smartphones felt really natural  and the quality from Pixel was amazing.

A Good Night - Pixel 2

How do you think technology like smartphones can help aspiring artists and creators get noticed?

The technology people can use to create has become more accessible and democratized. And there are so many new ways to inexpensively publish your work. This is true in music, filmmaking and other fields. I love it. It’s a boon for creativity and gives so many more people the ability to tell their story and express their vision.  

Who are your favorite new filmmakers?

I’m not sure how you define new. My production company just did a fantastic film called “Monster” with first-time feature filmmaker Anthony Mandler. We’ve worked together before in music videos and commercials, and I think his debut feature film is excellent.

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The video plays with the idea of apps and social media and how they affect dating. How does the “age of instalove” change the way you talk to your fans?

I talk a lot about what’s timeless about love and human connection. The ways we meet have changed a lot, but I think our emotional needs and desires probably aren’t all that different.

We can’t pass up the opportunity to ask about the women in your life. How does Pixel help you stay in touch with Chrissy and Luna and record your moments with them?

I love using Pixel to talk to Chrissy and Luna when I’m on the road. We love Duo for video calling. The Pixel camera takes amazing photos and videos too.  

I’m a big Google fan so it’s also nice to have a phone that integrates all Google apps so seamlessly. I use Google Docs, Maps, Drive, Calendar and others all the time. It’s great to have a phone made for those apps.

Last question. What are you listening to at the moment?

Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Miguel, SZA—and LOTS of the “Jesus Christ Superstar” soundtrack in preparation for my big role last Easter Sunday!

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel

Team Pixel is in bloom this spring

Our community of photographers is on the rise, and the #teampixel tribe is officially 35,000 members strong (and counting)! This week’s highlights range from colorful plum blossoms in Sakura, Japan to a confetti-filled wedding.

If you’re looking for a daily dose of #teampixel photos, follow our feed on Instagram and keep spreading the loves and likes with fellow Pixel photographers.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel

135 countries and counting: travel the world with #teampixel

Wondering what our community of Pixel photographers has been up to lately? Check out this week’s selects, from a dancer’s impeccable form (yay burst mode!) to finding love in the streets of Spain. #teampixel photos have been geo-tagged and posted from 135 countries and counting—shout out to our community for their amazing work! 👏 👏 👏

We’d love to see more of your Pixel photos, so keep tagging them with #teampixel and you might be featured next.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel
Google Pixel earns Android enterprise seal of approval

Google Pixel earns Android enterprise seal of approval

With Pixel 2, we set out to make a mobile experience that is smart, simple, and secure, with a great camera, the Google Assistant to help you get more done, long battery life, and much more. We’ve seen a great response from consumers, and we’ve also gotten fantastic reviews from businesses, employees, and industry analysts for the security and productivity features built into Pixel 2.

Today Pixel 2 and first generation Pixel phones have been recognized in the new Android Enterprise Recommended program, which means the phones are endorsed for the workplace. This new initiative from our colleagues on the Android team showcases enterprise devices and services that meet high standards for security, reliability, and productivity while also enabling the teams which deploy corporate devices to manage them easily and securely.

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Not only does Pixel meet the baseline requirements of the program, it exceeds many of them. For example, while all devices in the Android Enterprise Recommended program must receive a security update within 90 days, Pixel goes further by delivering security patches and feature updates every month. Pixel gets the yearly Android operating system upgrades first, directly from Google, so that users have the latest software. Pixel 2 also offers a tamper-resistant hardware security modulethat reinforces the lock screen, to better defend against malware and hardware attacks.

Alongside its security protections, Pixel has lots of features to help you out at work: you can use the Google Assistant to find out when your next meeting is and the best route to get there, multitask with split-screen which lets you have two apps open on the screen, or check notes while on a video call with picture-in-picture mode.

With Pixel recognized in the Android Enterprise Recommended program, we offer peace-of-mind to administrators who manage corporate devices, while always helping employees get more out of their phones at work and beyond. We look forward to seeing how Pixel will power mobile productivity at work.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel

#teampixel lights up the holidays

Season’s greetings! With the holidays around the corner, we’re highlighting #teampixel pics that remind us why this time of year is so magical. Join us in kicking off the celebrations with photos ranging from a frosty day in Austria to enjoying sweet treats in Pike Place, Seattle.

We also can’t wait to see what Team Pixel captures in the coming year. Be merry, have a wonderful holiday and see you all in 2018! ✌️

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel
Go behind the scenes of “Isle of Dogs” with Pixel

Go behind the scenes of “Isle of Dogs” with Pixel

“Isle of Dogs” tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The film isn’t out until March 23—but Pixel owners will get an exclusive sneak peek this week.

In “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality),” the audience is taken behind-the-scenes in a 360-degree VR experience featuring on-set interviews of the film’s cast (voiced by Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham and Bob Balaban). Get nose-to-nose with Chief, Boss, Rex and the rest of the cast while the crew works around you, for an inside look at the unique craft of stop-motion animation.

Pixel’s powerful front-firing stereo speakers and brilliant display make it perfect for watching immersive VR content like this. Presented in 4K video with interactive spatial audio that responds to where you’re looking, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” is a collaboration between FoxNext VR Studio, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Felix & Paul Studios, the Isle of Dogs production team, and Google Spotlight Stories.

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“Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” is available today on the Google Spotlight Stories app, exclusively for Google Pixel phones (Pixel and Pixel 2) and best watched on the Daydream View headset. To watch, download the Spotlight Stories app.

On March 2, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” will become available in VR, 360 and 2D via YouTube VR and Fox Searchlight YouTube channel, and any platform that has the YouTube VR app, including Daydream and Sony PlayStation VR. “Isle of Dogs,” from Fox Searchlight, hits theaters on March 23.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Google AR and VR, Pixel
Two #teampixel photographers say “I do” to Pixel 2

Two #teampixel photographers say “I do” to Pixel 2

Jenny and Colin Hayles are professional photographers (Jenny does weddings and Colin captures nature and wildlife) and proud #teampixel members. Knowing that a Pixel 2 can take high-quality photos, they wanted to see how their phones would fare in the most picture-worthy setting: a wedding. We spoke with Jenny and Colin about their experience using a Pixel 2 at an experimental wedding photo shoot.

Tell us about your wedding experiment. How’d you come up with the idea?
Colin: The concept developed when one of my shots was featured on #teampixel, and I realized just how amazing the Pixel camera was. At first, I wanted to show that wedding guests have no excuse for taking lousy pictures if you have a Pixel. But Jenny and her creative team (shout out to our planner from Jaqueline Rae Weddings) went to the next level—she wanted to shoot professional wedding photos with a Pixel. Before we tried it out at a real wedding, we had to see what the Pixel was capable of—from details, to portraits, to action shots. We simulated the details of a wedding day—the gown and tux, rings, stationery, cake and flowers—and recruited our friends Michele and Tom (a real-life couple) to be our models. We used only a Pixel 2 (no reflectors, lights, or tripods) for the entire photo shoot. The results were, I think, better than any of us dared to hope.

Which Pixel features did you use most during the shoot?
Jenny: We used the portrait feature the most—it’s pretty much like shooting with a high-end prime lens with a large aperture. In other words, it beautifully blurs the foreground and background to create that fine art look. Shooting macro shots without an extra lens is fantastic for the details that brides love to see (like shots of their wedding rings).

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Colin and the models

What’s the biggest pro of shooting a wedding with a phone?
Jenny: I loved being able to send images to the couple right away. Often brides and grooms see poor-quality images first, as guests begin to post on social media, but shooting with a Pixel, I can share beautiful images right away.

Did the couple feel more comfortable and natural when the photos were taken on a Pixel, rather than a big professional camera?
Colin: Shooting with a Pixel 2 was a novel idea, so there was some curiosity. We shared images throughout the shoot with the team and bride and groom. There were comments that the next phone they get will be a Pixel 2! It made me think that it is an invaluable tool for non-photographers who work in the wedding industry—like florists—to take high-quality images of their work as well.

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Behind-the-scenes at the wedding shoot: here’s Jenny with her Pixel 2 (decor and furniture came from @modernluxerental)

What other big events you’re going to tackle next?
Colin: We’d love to use the Pixel 2 for a honeymoon or engagement shoot. The idea of not taking along a heavy and conspicuous camera bag and coming away with high-quality images is an exciting and back-saving idea. We traveled to Cuba last year and used our first-generation Pixels to capture the bulk of the photos we took and I was so impressed. I only brought my camera gear along on one day of the whole trip.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel

#teampixel photographer Dave East heads to Iceland

This week, #teampixel heads north of the equator on a trip with photographer, Dave East. Check out his photos from Iceland (shot in subzero temperatures!) that captured everything from giant glaciers to epic waterfalls, and hear about why he loves his Pixel camera.

Can you tell us about your recent trip to Iceland shooting on Pixel 2 XL?
Iceland was absolutely surreal. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. The landscapes feel like another planet. Shooting on the Pixel 2 was just so easy, the camera is so good that  when we were in a hurry I didn’t even take out my DSLR because I knew the shots were going to be just as great on the Pixel 2.

What are your favorite features on Pixel’s camera?
The portrait mode is amazing, it really gets the sense of depth perfectly. I also just think the photos are so crisp, it feel not like a phone camera at all.

What piece of advice do you have for capturing great shots?
For landscape work, check that your horizons are straight and that there is some depth to the shot or leading lines that draw your eye to something in particular. And make sure that you are shooting in a good time of day and that it is not too bright.

Anything else you’d like to share with us and the #teampixel community?
Just keep shooting, keep creating and keep exploring. My favourite thing in the world is travelling to new places and seeing new things.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Pixel