Front of the Google Pixel 4 XLSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has no plans to bring the Pixel 4's Screen Attention feature to older Pixel phones "for now."
  • Screen Attention uses the front-facing camera to keep the display awake while you're looking at it.
  • It's possible Google could change its mind in the future as it did with fingerprint sensor gestures when it added them months later to the Nexus 6P and 5X.

When new phones launch, they inevitably come with a list of new features meant to entice us to upgrade. However, if we're lucky, the manufacturer will push some of the more notable features to previous models as well via software updates.

Pixel 4 Screen AttentionSource: Android Central

OnePlus probably has one of the best reputations when it comes to this practice adding features such as Zen Mode, DC dimming, and more to older models. Google also does a decent job in this respect, even bringing one of its signature Pixel 4 features, like Astrophotography, to previous Pixel phones.

Unfortunately, some features don't always make the cut, and it appears Screen Attention is one of them (at least "for now"). Screen Attention was first introduced to the Pixel 4 lineup this year, and it uses the front-facing camera to detect when you're looking at the phone and prevents the screen from turning off.

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Now, if it relied on the new Soli sensor, it might make sense why Google isn't adding it to previous Pixel phones. However, that's not the case. According to the settings page for Screen Attention, it uses "the front camera to see if someone is looking at the screen."

Instead, it appears Google is just reserving it as an exclusive Pixel 4 feature for the time being, and when speaking to Android Police on the matter, Google stated that it had no plans to expand it to other Pixel phones "for now."

That could always change though, especially if users cause an uproar about it. We've seen this in the past with Google when it eventually brought over the fingerprint sensor gestures to the older Nexus 6P and 5X months after introducing it on the Pixel.

Google's latest

Google Pixel 4

A smartphone straight from Google.

The Pixel 4 is Google's latest smartphone that always promises to be up to date with the latest security patches and Android updates. This year, it features a new Soli sensor on the front that lets you control your phone without touching it.

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