Hidden icon found in Google Camera update suggests the foldable Pixel is back in play

Hidden icon found in Google Camera update suggests the foldable Pixel is back in play

The on-again-off-again saga of the Google Pixel Fold/Notepad (either name is possible) seems to be on again thanks to a clue spotted in the recent Google Camera 8.6 update. That update mostly consisted of Material You tweaks to the UI that placed some of the round buttons in the Meet tab inside a big gray rectangular box. The buttons now change their color to match the main hue of the wallpaper employed by the user, part of the Dynamic Color feature.
But the guys at 9to5 Google dug into the update and discovered a new mode with the codename “Jupiter.” This mode will have a button to the left of the Switch Cameras button which is used when a Pixel user wants to switch from taking photos and videos with the rear camera array to using the front-facing camera for photos and video.

Icon hidden in Google Camera update points to the possibility that a foldable Pixel is being developed

But the big news here is the icon for this feature which shows what appears to be a folding phone (fold on the dotted line) with an arrow showing the motion that would be needed to close the device. What else could we think here except to see this as a sign that the Pixel Fold or Notepad is still alive?

Nothing that 9to5Google found reveals what the “Jupiter” button does other than hide the Switch Cameras button when it is tapped. That would seem to indicate that the “Jupiter” mode is one that works with only the rear-facing cameras or the front-facing camera because it covers up the ability to switch the camera being used. Another possibility is that the mode will show previews from both cameras at the same time.

The Pixel Fold/Notepad could be back in play. The phone was expected to be powered by Google’s own Tensor chipset, and sport a 5.85-inch internal display. As a result, the foldable Pixel could resemble the foldable Oppo Find N with its smaller internal display rather than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 which might carry a much larger 7.6-inch screen. We don’t want to forget that the rear camera array on the Pixel Fold/Notepad was supposed to include the same 12.2MP primary camera and the 16MP ultra-wide camera used on the Pixel 5 flagship.

Will Google unveil the Pixel Fold/Notepad along with the Pixel 7 series this October?

The most popular foldables in the US include Samsung’s two foldable models and the Motorola RAZR. The Galaxy Z Fold opens like a book turning a 6.2-inch smartphone into a 7.6-inch tablet. The Galaxy Z Flip is a pocketable device that flips open to become a 6.7-inch smartphone. The RAZR has a similar form factor to the Galaxy Z Flip. Interestingly, 70% of Samsung’s Galaxy Z sales last year were generated by the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Before the rumor that the Pixel Fold/Notepad was “off again” in May, the device was allegedly scheduled for mass production during the third quarter. Assuming that Google has started working on the device again, there is no reason not to expect that production schedule to remain the same. Looking to undercut Samsung, Google was rumored earlier this year to have decided on a $1,399 MSRP for the first foldable Pixel.

So will we have an October surprise? Will Will Google pull a rabbit out of its hat when unveiling the Pixel 7 series? If you’re hoping for a foldable Pixel, keep your fingers crossed.

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