It’s no secret that Google is set to show off the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL next month on October 9 in New York. It’s also no secret what the devices will look like thanks to a plethora of leaks we’ve seen over the past few months. The new devices are not the only things that have leaked with the latest being an accessory that Google could be launching at the same time.
The device is expected to be called the Pixel Stand charging dock spotted by 9to5Google in an animation that was referenced by some code within the Google app.
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We managed in this teardown to reveal a possible first look at the Pixel Stand. A brief animation within the app which is currently hidden from consumer view shows off a phone on a dock going through a slideshow of pictures.
The animation shows off a Pixel 3 resting in portrait mode on the Pixel Stand and shows a slideshow of images to allow the users to interact with the device, presumably from Google Photos. The Pixel Stand also seems to be able to display notifications, play music, and display notifications. In fact, the Pixel Stand seems to have all the functionality to turn it into its own Smart Display when the device is docked. The device may go even further and be able to inherit some of the functionality from the Google Smart Display itself.
This new UI was first put into play in code earlier this year, but it’s not yet been revealed in any “live” app code. The Google Home Hub will likely be revealed early in the presentation on October 9th, followed by the Google Pixel 3 and the Pixel Stand. That, and a suggestion that you can have Google Assistant however you want – on this display, on your phone, whatever, however.
The Pixel Stand leak compliments a leak that has been making its way around the internet of a new Google Assistant UI. The new UI for the Smart Display will show larger buttons and shortcuts that will make actions such as making calls, playing music, and interacting with the UI accessible.
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The Pixel Stand is expected to be a wireless charger rather than feature a specific USB Type-C connector. The base seems to simply be a method of keeping the device steady while keeping the device upright. Another animation of the Pixel Stand in another version of the Google app shows off some of the notifications and how they’d work. There’s messages, calendar appointments, and even music notifications that flash up in a large UI thanks to its enhanced Smart Display mode that will presumably be announced alongside the Pixel 3 unveiling.
The use of the Pixel, when docked to turn it into a device akin to the Google Home Hub, is a great use of something that would otherwise be dormant while charging. Typically, a device when docked on a charger is relatively useless – the Note 9 probably being one of the most active with a wash of colors dancing across the screen. As far as functionality goes, it’s not of much use, even though the device is in plain view. Google seems to have identified this as an opportunity and by making a specific UI while docked can present some useful information while also charging the device. It also means you don’t have to buy a completely separate home display and use your new Pixel 3 instead.