Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Pixel Fold’s most interesting feature won’t be available at launch

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Google teased an interesting software feature called Dual Screen Interpreter during its unveiling of the Pixel Fold, but you need to be patient, as it won’t be available at launch.

Instead, the Dual Screen Interpreter feature will arrive during the fall this year, almost certainly on or around the release of Android 14. It’s an important fact to know in case it’s swaying your decision to preorder the new folding phone.

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In case you missed the Pixel Fold on stage at the Google I/O developer conference keynote, this is what the Dual Screen Interpreter feature is all about. It’s part of the Live Translate app and uses the dual-screen layout of the Pixel Fold to great effect. During a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you, Live Translate shows the translated conversation on the inner and outer screen at the same time, so both speakers can read the translated text in real-time.

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Get past the awkwardness of holding a massive, folding phone up between you, and this could prove to be a very helpful feature. Live Translate is already pretty fast, and this could facilitate almost real-time conversations between two people that would otherwise struggle to communicate so quickly and naturally. However, if you’re already considering using it on your summer vacation, it’ll have to be your summer vacation in 2024, not 2023.

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For now, Google has also indicated Dual Screen Interpreter will be a Pixel Fold-only feature, so it won’t be available on other folding phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. This may be due to Google wanting to keep a unique feature back for its new foldable, or that it uses the Google-made Tensor G2 processor’s ability, which then can’t be replicated on another chipset.

At least, this is what Google says now. It also said something very similar about the Magic Eraser feature, which was a Pixel-exclusive for a while, but is now available on other smartphones where the owner subscribes to Google One. It was also assumed that Magic Eraser used the Google Tensor chip’s ability, but this no longer seems accurate. There’s a chance Dual Screen Interpreter may be the same, and it could arrive on other big-screen folding phones with Android 14 and the Live Translate app in the future.

For now, though, Dual Screen Interpreter is a feature you’ll only find on the Google Pixel Fold, but even then, not until later this year.

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