This week's top stories: 'Pixel Superfans,' Assistant 'Quick phrases,' more

By Kyle Bradshaw

September 4, 2021


Google has sent out another wave of invitations to the exclusive club of "Pixel Superfans" this week. Members get access to special events such as a live Q&A with the Pixel 5a product leads.

This week’s email links to a form that asks what Made by Google products you’ve owned. The criteria for joining is unclear and could be based on how many Pixel phones you’ve owned.

Our team was able to uncover more about "Quick phrases," an upcoming feature of the Google Assistant. With it, certain actions like "How's the weather?" will no longer require you to say "Hey Google."

From what we know about this feature, what could be happening is that Nest speakers/Smart Displays will go from just always-listening for “Hey Google” to also seeking out user-specified Quick phrases.

Recently, we polled our readers about whether or not they would buy a charger to go with the Pixel 6. The question was raised after Google confirmed the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will not ship with a charger.

it shocked us to see that over 50% – 50.1% to be precise – of our readers said that they won’t buy a separate charger with the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro.

Google Messages got a slight redesign in beta this week, with a new, colorful layout for the "plus" menu used to attach images, stickers, and more to your SMS/RCS messages.

This change is rolling out now, but not yet available for all users. For example, we’re currently only encountering this Google Messages attachment redesign on Android 12 devices.

23W is certainly an odd number to top out at, but it’s an appreciated upgrade nonetheless. Somewhat hilariously, it means the Pixel 6 will charge faster wirelessly than past Pixels did while wired.