Google Testing Screen Mirroring Feature on Pixel 8 Series: Report

Google Pixel 8 series has reportedly received a new feature that will finally allow users to mirror their smartphone screen on a larger external display. The feature was added to the series via the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update for Pixel devices. The update enabled the DisplayPort Alternate Mode in the smartphones by default. The addition of the feature was not mentioned in the change log, as per the report, which has led to suspicions among users that it might have been added by accident.

According to a report by Android Authority (via Mishaal Rahman), some users have begun noticing that when connecting their Pixel 8 series phone, comprising of the vanilla Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro, to an external display through a compatible USB Type-C cable, a pop-up window appears asking to mirror the screen. This feature is currently only available on handsets with the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update.

The addition of this feature is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, this is the first time Google has enabled screen mirroring on any Pixel phone. The Pixel 7 series and older models had the DisplayPort Alternate Mode feature disabled at the hardware level. While the feature was enabled through hardware in the current generation, there was no accompanying software to let users trigger screen mirroring.

Second, even when Google did add the feature, this was not mentioned in the changelog. This has led to several users wondering whether the enablement was accidental. The report highlights that if that is the case, the feature can be rolled back in the next update. However, it could be that the tech giant added screen mirroring proactively because Android 15, which is expected to be announced later this year, might introduce a new desktop mode that offers a more seamless interface with Pixel devices. For now, this is all speculative till an official announcement is made. Even if Google does permanently enable DisplayPort Alternate Mode, older Pixel phones will still not be able to use it since the feature is disabled at the hardware level.

However, not all is lost for older Pixel devices. Google recently expanded the Circle to Search feature for the Pixel 7 series through the latest Pixel Feature Drop, allowing users to perform visual look-ups just by drawing a circle on the screen.

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