Android 12 is a major push for Google in terms of personalization, AI and even privacy. The Pixel 6 will spearhead that initiative, as expected, and will showcase Google's "deep technology investments."
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Of course, that probably refers mostly to Google's in-house chips codenamed Whitechapel. This system-on-chip will hopefully allow the company to break free of Qualcomm's grip on the US market. Google is allegedly working with Samsung on the design and manufacturing process. Whitechapel will offer Google even more control of the Pixel 6 hardware — akin to Apple with the iPhones — and could allow for up to five years (or more) of Android updates.
We've been talking quite a bit about Android 12 since Google unveiled the radical redesign at Google I/O 2021. The new design language is called Material You, referring to how it caters itself to your tastes.
A couple of the Tom's Guide writers have installed the betas on our Pixels — it's an excellent experience thus far, even if all of the Material You goodness isn't there just yet. You can play with the main theming elements, but other parts like the new widgets and first-party app theming remain absent.
Pichai stressed that the Pixel product line is still at the heart of Google's hardware strategy, saying it will continue "to push boundaries." If Whitechapel pans out, this could end up being really exciting. As Google gets better with chip design, and flexes its strengths, we're likely to see new inroads made for what AI and machine learning can do on a phone.
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Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.