Friday in CE: Despite Reputation, Pixel 3 Might Have Device-Exclusive Features
There are a few things to note about Google's forthcoming flagship phone that might not sit well with the brand's loyalists, but that shouldn't hurt Google's reputation.
First and foremost, the Pixel 3 will exists. Well, as far as we can tell, Google wants to make a Pixel 3. Truthfully there was no reason to believe we weren't getting a new phone this year, but we don't exactly have a smoking gun either. That is until rumors began to circulate that Google will be launching a flagship device specifically for the low-end market in India, as well as a code commit to the Android Open Source Project pages.
The most interesting piece of evidence is the code commit. In layman's terms, we are looking at an update to the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for Android devices. HAL is the technology that allows hardware to talk to software. In this case, HAL acts as the "drivers" for things like camera, cell radio, fingerprint scanners, and everything in between. Typically, these "drivers" are proprietary to OEMs and it's up to manufacturers to release new versions. This becomes an issue when updating Android versions as it may break the communication between the software and hardware.