To paraphrase a certain soup-slinger: No Assistant for you!
A leaked and confirmed document detailing the different features coming to the Pixel handsets and all other Android 7.1 Nougat devices shows that Google Assistant is limited to the company's flagship phones for the time being.
The Pixel and Android differences leaked in a changelog published on Tuesday (Oct. 4) by Android Police that Google confirmed in a conversation with TechCrunch yesterday (Oct. 5). While Pixel handsets will no longer see the Google Now service (it's getting folded into Assistant), Android devices not "made by Google" will likely be stuck with Google Now.
Android users eager to use and play with Assistant can still find it inside of apps such as the messaging client Allo (downloads of which have plummeted as of late).
Other Pixel-exclusive features include Smart Storage, which automatically removes backed-up photos and videos when storage runs low and 24x7 phone and chat customer support. Pixel phones will also be the only Android handsets to get camera features such as Electronic Image Stabilization and Smartburst, both of which Google demoed at its Tuesday (Oct. 4) event and appear to be major advantages for those capturing smooth video and precise snapshots, respectively.
Google Pixel buyers will also be the only to get the packed-in Quick Switch Adapter, the company's hardware accessory that makes it easy to import all of your content from an iPhone or other Android device.
Pixel users will also be the only to get the Pixel Launcher interface, with its pill-shaped Google widget and swipe-up apps tray. Industrious Android users can find a way to get Pixel Launcher, though, as it's been available to sideload since September. Pixel handsets will also be the only smartphones to get unlimited backup of original-quality photos and videos to Google Photos.
A lack of unlimited, original-quality backups to Google photos latter may not be the biggest deal for most users, as Google Photos presently allows for unlimited backup of images with resolution of up to 16 megapixels, and most flagship Android devices are cut off at 12-MP shooting. Unfortunately, Google Photos' free unlimited backup limits video resolution to 1080p, and many phones, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 handsets, can shoot 4K videos.
But what exactly can users of non-Google-made Android devices look forward to? When 7.1 Nougat reaches those devices, they'll get access to Daydream Virtual Reality and Night Light, which is similar to iOS's Night Shift, as it reduces the blue light emitted by a Android's display, a feature used by those looking for any solution to fall asleep easier.
While we could see Samsung and other smartphone makers figure out ways to replicate the above list of exclusives, this laundry list of exclusives should be enough to make users give the Pixels a serious look, if they haven't already.