Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL telephones do one thing most units do not: they will launch an app if you squeeze the edges. Only one app, although: Google Assistant.

Sounds sort of cool, proper? If you happen to’re grabbing your telephone out of your pocket or purse and need to mild up Google Assistant to ask a query, clasping a Pixel 2 is a fast, straightforward strategy to name forth the app, with out having to poke round on the dwelling button. It will work if the telephone’s in a case, too.

If you happen to’ve by no means heard of the HTC U11, this may appear to be novel know-how. In truth, it is a clipped model of what HTC’s earlier telephone for 2017 can do.

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The primary telephone with pressure-sensitive sides, a brief squeeze on the U11 would open one app, whereas a protracted squeeze would open a special app. HTC steered some preset actions, like toggling the flashlight or voice recorder on and off, and even, yep, opening Google Assistant along with your grip.

However the HTC U11’s actual energy for consumers was that it allow you to program nearly any app to open to your palm’s strain, not simply those HTC chosen.

It is not shocking to see a type of the U11’s pressure-sensitive sides present up on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the place it is referred to as the Lively Edge, for the reason that telephones had been made with HTC’s assist. However it’s too dangerous that Google limits you to opening a single app. (You can too silence an incoming name with a squeeze.)

The U11’s sides had been too gimmicky to be your sole purpose to purchase that telephone, however I liked that you simply get to determine which shortcuts you need, relatively than HTC deciding for you.

Similar to the Galaxy S8 and Word eight

Google’s give attention to Google Assistant echoes Samsung’s determination to make its bodily button launch Bixby Voice — and solely Bixby Voice — on the Galaxy Word eight and S8 telephones.

You’ll be able to’t program the Bixby Voice button to launch different apps.

Josh Miller/Proinertech

Samsung will not allow you to reprogram the Bixby Voice button to open different apps. Your solely choice is to disable the Bixby button.

Samsung’s Bixby lock-down exists solely to power Galaxy homeowners to make use of Bixby Voice, a brand new function that Samsung needs to place in your Samsung washer, TV, fridge and so forth.

Is Google doing the identical? It is potential.

Google Assistant is already on each Android telephone operating model 6.zero and above. And Google simply introduced that Assistant on Pixelbook marks the primary time it’s going to come to any laptop computer. With Google Assistant on Google Dwelling and Google TV  as nicely, the tech large clearly needs to beat Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and yeah positive, Samsung’s Bixby Voice app, to grow to be your go-to voice sidekick.

In fact, it is also potential that Google will make the Lively Edge work with extra apps sooner or later. I hope that is the case. The Pixel 2’s squeezable sides must be open to any app you need.

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