The new wireless charging technology hasn’t been included in Google-branded smartphones since the Nexus 6. A teardown of the latest Google app hints at a “Pixel Stand” which might be a wireless charging dock for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The wireless charging stand might include Google Assistant functionality for requesting personal information while the handset is locked.
Even though Google was one of the first proponents of wireless charging in the Android ecosystem, the company and its partners stopped including the feature after the Nexus 6 in 2014. Since then, Samsung, a handful of other Android manufacturers, and even Apple are now including the functionality in their smartphones. Thanks to a recent teardown of the Google app, it appears as though the search giant might be building its own wireless charging dock called the Pixel Stand.
Up to this point, we knew Google was working on a new “dreamliner” category that would allow various companies to produce wireless chargers that would include unknown features. These mentions of the Pixel Stand are our first clues that Google will also be making a dock to compete in this product category. Based on the Pixel Stand name, there’s reason to believe that the accessory will be compatible with the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Below are the strings of code that 9to5Google was able to uncover relating to the Pixel Stand:
<string name=”trusted_dock_action_text”>I Agree</string>
<string name=”trusted_dock_cancel_text”>No thanks</string>
<string name=”trusted_dock_message”>Your Assistant can use your personal info to make suggestions, answer questions, and take actions for you when your phone is locked and on your Pixel Stand</string>
<string name=”trusted_dock_title”>Get personalized help when your phone is on your Pixel Stand</string>
The third code string also hints that the Pixel Stand might be much more than just a wireless charging dock. Probably acting like a trusted device, when the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is docked in the Pixel Stand, Google Assistant will still be fully functional even though the phone’s display is turned off. This way, without having to first unlock the device, users can ask the Assistant for personal information and more.
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Leaked hands-on photos of the Pixel 3 XL appear to show the handset with a glass back. Besides aesthetic purposes and improved internal antennae reception, the move away from metal is further evidence that Google is looking to add wireless charging back into its smartphones.
While it’s not clear when Google might introduce the Pixel Stand, it would make sense that the company would release it alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at this year’s fall hardware event.
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