We’re still months away from the unveiling of the Pixel 2, but Google is already working on deciding which features to add to the highly anticipated follow-up to its first officially branded phone. And it wants your help.
No, Google hasn’t launched a Kickstarter page, but it is seeking input from users on what they like about the Pixel and what they want to see improved. In a post on the Pixel User Community board titled "Chamfers, cross-hatch patterns and deep blue - obsessing on Pixel's design," Krishna Kumar, product lead for the Pixel, posed four questions to forum members: “What do you like about the design? What do you hate about it? What did we get right? What would you like to see us improve?”
Kumar’s post highlights the difficult decisions Google made with Pixel, “from the design team endlessly obsessing over the angle of the phone's edges and its feel in hand, to the texture of the power key, to color selection and cheeky names - and some of the choices and trade-offs that went behind the Pixel design!” That “exhilarating” and “terrifying“ process was recently outlined in a CNet article that took a deep look at the various design, engineering, and color choices that went into creating the Pixel.
Asking an online community for help is always a risky proposition—just take a look at the ZTE Hawkeye—but there are some definite trends emerging in the comments that could very well influence Google's decisions when designing the next Pixel. The most requested featured seems to be smaller bezels, something that upcoming flagships from LG and Samsung are already adopting. Additionally, many users want to see waterproofing, more storage, and stereo front-facing speakers.
Too many cooks: While it’s certainly interesting to see what Pixel users like and dislike about their phones, Google has to be careful about taking too many of these suggestions to heart. What makes the Pixel so great is its simplicity. There isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about the phone, but it gets the important things right, most notably the Android experience. If Google gets caught up in a feature race and tries to check off too many boxes, it risks compromising the Pixel’s main advantage. But as long as Google is taking suggestions, here’s one: Expand it to more carriers and make it easier to purchase.