The Google Pixel 7a was officially released a few days ago as the latest handset in Google’s A-Series to join the mid-range smartphone market. However, a feature on it has been uncovered that is not currently available in any other Pixel phone – at least not yet.
The feature is termed “adaptive alert vibration,” and it was just detected on the Pixel 7a by Android Police, although it was also spotted in December by Mishaal Rahman in the Android 13 QPR2 beta for the Pixel 6a. Because the feature was not widely available at the time, it was not well publicized.
The Pixel 7a has that "adaptive alert vibration" feature that I spotted back in December in the Android 13 QPR2 beta for the Pixel 6a. This option "reduces [the] vibration strength while your phone is still and the screen is facing up."
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) May 12, 2023
This function distinguishes itself by reducing the strength of the device’s vibration when the phone is stationary and the screen is facing up, indicating that it is not being actively used. Currently, Pixel users have the ability to alter the strength level of vibration warnings in addition to turning them on or off, but this is limited to four different levels.
This new function takes things a step further by allowing you to customize the intensity of the vibration while your phone is not in use. The most recent feature can be accessible by going to Settings, then Sound & Vibration, and finally Vibration & Haptics. A new support document also documents this.
It’s unclear why this feature is exclusive to the Pixel 7a and not the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro. It stands to reason that it relies on the handset’s accelerometer and some AI magic to determine the device’s current state, thus it’s difficult to conceive that the only device that can support it is the most recent mid-ranger.
However, this is not the first time Google has released a new feature as a new device exclusive that only lasts a few months before being rolled out to other Pixel devices. Such has been the case with many other Pixel-exclusive features, such as Magic Eraser, which has made its way to non-Pixel smartphones in some situations. In any event, it’s encouraging to see Google continue to employ its computing prowess to develop features that increase quality of life, and in this case, battery life.