I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cussed out my phone just before falling asleep. Typically, when I’m ready to pass out for the night, I reach for the charging cable next to my bed and plug in whichever phone I’m testing at the moment, only to have its screen (which I just turned off in my dark bedroom), light up the heavens as that USB cable touches home. Or, in the morning, when it’s still dark in this NW wet hell of winter, I unplug the phone from charging all night and the same thing happens – BLING! GOOD MORNING EVERYONE ELSE STILL ASLEEP AND YOUR CRUSTY EYES THAT WEREN’T READY FOR MY SHINE!
Google, because they clearly understand my frustration in this charging department, changed how this works with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Instead of your screen turning on with each plug, Google has the Pixel 2 phones use their ambient display to simply confirm to you for a moment that they are indeed charging (see image above). Rather than firing up all those pixels, Google instead uses the tools at their command to simplify the process and not blind you in the dark.
And when you unplug, well, the phone doesn’t do anything but stop charging. You don’t need the screen to turn on to show you notifications, because you have an always-on display that is already showing you what’s in-store for the day.
I know this may seem like a small thing, but that’s kind of the beauty of it. As Android matures and these companies all realize that there are only so many features to pack into their skins, it’s these subtle changes to the experience that can make or break a phone. OK, that’s a ridiculous overstatement, but come on, how awesome is this?
Enjoy your weekend.