Over the weekend some reviews of a Google app update to version 8.14 revealed what appears to be a new accessory in the works for Google’s Pixel smartphones. The new device will apparently be called the Pixel Stand. Although it is a bit unclear exactly what the new Pixel Stand would do, clues point to it functioning as a wireless charger at a minimum. However, when combined with a Pixel smartphone the combination could convert the phone and Pixel Stand into an on-the-fly Home device.
In terms of background, sources identified work by Google back in June on some wireless chargers with the codename “dreamliner”. This discovery, combined with apparent signs that the Pixel 3 smartphones will have glass backs making wireless charging possible, appear to point to that capability being included in the forthcoming devices.
In reviewing the recent Google App update code, developers spotted features that enable Google Assistant capabilities. By granting trusted device status to a Pixel Stand, the Google Assistant will be available to answer questions or take actions – just like a Google Home device – even when the smartphone is locked. Previous dives into Google code also show that the Pixel “At a Glance” widget for the homescreen may be able to function as an always-on-display and display information on the lockscreen.
Finally, while the dreamliner project appears to make it possible for any manufacturer to adopt the wireless charging capabilities into their own products, signs point to Google producing their own device for their Pixel phones.
At this time, sources believe the new Pixel Stand may launch this fall in conjunction with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.