Pixel Ambient display

One of the neatest aspects of the Pixel line — and many other devices — is the excellent ‘Always-on display’ function. On Pixel devices, it’s called ‘Ambient display’, and Google is looking to improve the palm rejection of the feature.

At the moment you’re given a number of options to see the ‘Ambient display’. You can have it constantly on, you can double-tap the display to activate or you can even lift or tilt your Pixel to get a quick glance at the time or see any notifications waiting. The problem is that some users have complained that it’s way too easy to dismiss (via XDA Developers).

I can attest to the frustrations surrounding the Ambient Display on my own Pixel 3 and 3a devices. It’s nice to be able to lift your phone or double tap to wake it but I have found that it does activate the standard fully-lit lock screen far too easily. It’s far too easy to dismiss and reveal the lock screen, firing up the display and blinding you late into the evening when all you want to see is the time.

Powering on the display, even momentarily, no doubt causes battery drain issues if you activate frequently throughout the day. In response to a post made by a user complaining of the current situation, to which a Googler has responded and said: “[the] Feature will available in later releases.”

It’s unclear when this feature will be added or how it will work in practice. Given the query was posted on an Android Q Beta issue post, we could see better palm rejection on your Pixel’s Ambient display in the next Q Beta release, in a future monthly security update or maybe we’ll have to wait until the full stable release of Android Q — whatever the outcome it is still a welcome addition.

If you have experienced the issue first hand — as I have — then let us know down in the comments section below.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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