On a limb: Google may be testing wireless charging for Pixel 3

The phone may have come out as clear as day, but there’s still fog around whether the Pixel 3 XL has a glass body for its industrial design rather than polycarbonate or metal. The thirst for Google’s own phone series to finally feature wireless charging has swollen to top levels, mostly because these super-techies view the Android hardware standard bearer as repugnant not to stand with Qi or Powermat or any sort of wireless charging at all.

But according to code spotted in the second Pixel-exclusive beta of Android P by XDA-Developers, it appears that a new piece of hardware will be made entirely Android P-compatible.

While Android has supported certain toggles to wireless charging such as activation sounds for years, there’s some new hints in the SystemUIGoogle APK that may make wireless chargers a connected device the same way Bluetooth or even Wi-Fi Direct devices are. While there may be many of them out there, Google needs to find a way to create a conduit for its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to handle data and power wirelessly if it wants the phones to do so. That conduit may be called “dreamliner.”

Dreamliner, which is specifically called out as a Google app in code, is not publicly available as an app. But decompiling the library brings us a whole bunch of indicators such as dock status and wireless charging information. Clicking into the feature, it seems that the company may be dogfooding — that is, internally testing — the system app. There’s also a special rank of “docks” mentioned within the app with all information fields cleared, perhaps leaving room for actual hardware to insert data in or even maybe leaving room for Google’s own proprietary dock to come into play.

Nothing is certain at this point, but one thing is for sure: this is not an AOSP branch, but something specifically related to the Pixel series. While the Pixel and Pixel 2 generations don’t have the hardware for wireless charging, there’s certainly room for the Pixel 3 to have it at this early stage.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.