❤ Google’s updated privacy policy, Pixel 7 Horizon live wallpaper, Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 processor and Pixel Launcher

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Google brings back the Horizon live wallpaper on Pixel 7

At launch, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro series lacked the “Horizon” live wallpaper, but it’s now available again to download and set as your background.





Starting with the Pixel 6a and continuing with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the Living Universe collection lacked the “Horizon” live wallpaper that would reflect your battery percentage: “Look to the horizon. The sun rises as your phone charges, and lowers as the battery is used.”

All the other backgrounds were present, but the wallpaper that was introduced with the original Pixel in 2016 wasn’t for, seemingly, no particular reason.

In the past day or so, Horizon has returned on a Pixel 7 (running Android 13) and 7 Pro (Android 14 Beta 3.1) with a server-side update. It’s fantastic that this lapse has been addressed as it truly is a fan favorite that ambiently conveyed battery status.







The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will see mineral-inspired wallpapers. Meanwhile, the Pixel Tablet does have the Living Universe collection in Wallpapear & style, but only eight are offered. These are presumably the only large screen-optimized live backgrounds:

  • Bird’s-Eye View, Zion National Park
  • White Sands, Sonoran Desert
  • Flying above, Monument Valley
  • Garden, Kent, United Kingdom
  • Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA
  • Pantheon, Rome, Italy
  • Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia

Google’s updated privacy policy doubles down on using your data for training AI





AI is a bigger focus for Google than it ever has been, and in an update to its privacy policy, Google is doubling down on its ability to use data for training AI models.

As of July 1, 2023, Google has a new privacy policy in place for users. The update, highlighted by Gizmodo, is documented on Google’s policy site and has a key change.

Google has had a policy in place for some time now that allows the company to collect data from its users and use that data for “business purposes.” That includes for “research and development,” which has long included for building out and improving Google Translate.

Now, in the latest update to its policy, Google is including its AI models in what it can use data from you for. That also includes using the data to train Bard and Cloud AI “products.”

The updated policy matter states (new text in italics):

Google uses information to improve our services and to develop new products, features and technologies that benefit our users and the public. For example, we use publicly available information to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI capabilities.

In a later point, Google also notes that publically available information can also be used to train these models.

For example, we may collect information that’s publicly available online or from other public sources to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI capabilities. Or, if your business’s information appears on a website, we may index and display it on Google services.

None of this implies that Google is planning to use private data linked to your account for training but rather only public information. That’s going to happen anyway, as has been made clear with the rise of ChatGPT and other AI models, but Google’s new policy makes it clear the company intends to do the same thing with data from its users.

Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 processor appears to be slightly different from the one in Pixel 7





Google’s latest A-Series smartphones have felt faster than ever thanks to an upgrade to the same Tensor chips as their more expensive siblings, but in the case of the Pixel 7a, it appears that the Tensor G2 processor inside is slightly different.

The $499 Pixel 7a is a stellar device at its price point, as we brought out in our review last month, and a big part of that is running on the Tensor G2 processor. That brings better performance, slightly better efficiency, and a much better modem compared to the original Tensor found in Pixel 6a. And while all of that remains true, new evidence suggests that the Tensor G2 found in Pixel 7a isn’t the exact same one found in Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

Uncovered by Kamila Wojciechowska, the Pixel 7a is using an altered version of Tensor G2 that is known as the “IPOP” variant. The short version of what that means is that the chip found in Pixel 7a is packaged differently. It has the same components, but the surrounding casing is likely less costly to produce compared to the FOLOP-PoP tech that’s used on Tensor G2 in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

The only real side effect here should be heat, at least according to materials from Samsung.






Realistically, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most folks, but the added heat certainly isn’t appreciated. Tensor-powered Pixels have been notorious for heat problems, and every little bit helps.

Tensor G2 is also now included in the Pixel Tablet and Google Pixel Fold, but it’s unclear if those devices are also using altered versions from the smartphones we saw released last year.

Pixel Launcher’s Discover feed getting more Dynamic Color





The Google Discover feed to the left of the Pixel Launcher is getting a bit more Dynamic Color.

Before this latest change, only the top portion and Google logo saw Dynamic Color theming. It’s now being extended to the feed background. Instead of white or gray, you’ll now see something more vibrant to better align with your wallpaper. It doesn’t really impact the legibility of article images and headlines or the top carousel of widgets.

We’re seeing this expanded use of Dynamic Color in the Pixel Launcher’s Discover feed on Google app 14.26, which is the current beta release, but it’s not yet widely rolled out. This splash of vibrancy is somewhat nice when transitioning between the feed and your homescreen.











In other things, the Google app’s (short) Material You bottom bar is also not yet widely launched on phones for everyone after all these months. The M3 navigation rail is live on tablets, though it doesn’t support Dynamic Color yet and resorts to a blue accent.