Pixel and Pixel XL will receive new Pixel Launcher in the Oreo 8.1 update


Now that the dust is settling from yesterday’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL announcement, we are still left hanging about which features will be making their way to the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Google did not confirm or deny any features from the Pixel 2/2 XL in their official stream, but some new details are starting to trickle in.

We know that the current Pixels won’t be getting hardware based features, such as Active Edge, but software features are up to Google’s discretion.  The most likely software feature for the current generation Pixels to get is the all-new Pixel 2 Launcher. According to a user on Reddit who spoke with a Google Support agent, that will definitely be the case once Android 8.1 is released.

While it doesn’t give us a release date as when to expect Android 8.1, it is a good sign that exclusive Pixel features will stay within the Pixel family. The support agent was quoted saying “It’s not going to be Pixel specific. It will go across the Pixel family. They’ll be rolling it out in the future 8.1 update.”  No other Pixel 2 features were mentioned in this conversation, but it is likely that Pixel 2 exclusive features that are software based will most likely head to all Pixel devices eventually.

Last year, Google announced the Android 7.1 road map a week after the announcement of their original Pixel devices. The beta started hitting devices later that month. One would assume Google would follow a similar path with Android 8.1 on the Pixel and Pixel XL. That means it will most likely come in beta form first, then be rolled out to non-beta users.


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I skateboard, listen to metal, write on my website FWNED, autocross, and love messing with new phones. Currently I'm using a Pixel XL running Pure Nexus with ElementalX as my daily driver.