In short: An ad for the Google Pixel 3 has surfaced in the UK for one of its major carriers, EE. It shows a lot of details about the upcoming smartphones that we already knew, like how it looks, including the pretty big notch on the Pixel 3 XL. But we are also seeing that there is a new feature for the Google Pixel 3, which is the ability to flip your phone over to silence notifications. This is a feature that had already surfaced in Digital Wellbeing – though it’s not completely active yet. Essentially, this would allow you to “flip your Pixel 3 face down so that you can focus on what matters”. This is a good feature to use when you go into a meeting and don’t want your phone going off, just flip it over and boom.
Background: The Google Pixel 3 is expected to be announced on October 9, and pre-orders are also expected to start right after. There have been numerous leaks about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL already, but now we are starting to see some pricing coming out for the upcoming device, which is a good thing for many people, but this pricing really only affects those that are on EE. This feature is supposedly going to be part of Digital Wellbeing, which is currently still in beta and has been since Android 9 Pie rolled out back in August. Digital Wellbeing was announced at Google I/O as a way for users to use their phone less, ironically, and focus more on the world around them. So this feature to silence your phone by flipping it over, fits right in with Digital Wellbeing. Not to mention it’s a feature that Motorola has had available on its smartphones for quite some time.
Impact: With the Pixel 3 announcement next week, Google will likely be announcing a slew of new software features, including this new flip to silence feature that will be part of Digital Wellbeing. Now it’s currently unclear if this feature will come to all devices that have Digital Wellbeing (which is only the handful that are running on Android Pie), or if it will be exclusive to the Pixel 3. Most features that launch with new Pixel smartphones are exclusive for a few weeks before launching on older Pixel smartphones. But we should find out more on Tuesday.