The recent release of the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL marked an important milestone for the Mountain View-based tech giant. These are the first two smartphones exclusively branded by Google and advertised as being "made by Google." As such, the Google Pixel phones aren't direct successors to the Nexus lineup, but that isn't to say they don't boast the main selling point of Nexus devices – a pure, minimal Android experience.
The user interface of Google's latest flagships has been the subject of a recent blog post by Daniel Walsh and Conor O'Sullivan, the people in charge of User Experience Design and Sound Design divisions at Google. As Walsh and O'Sullivan explained it, their primary goal when creating the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL user experience was to design a consistent user experience, one that's both true to the company's minimal design philosophy and different from anything else they ever created. In order to achieve that, Google's designers opted to rely on the latest and greatest technology developed by the Alphabet-owned Internet firm. Among other things, they've paid special attention to wallpapers and soundscape of the Google Pixel devices.
More specifically, the design team made sure that horizons shown by the Google Pixel wallpapers are perfectly aligned with the phones' backplate. The color palette created specifically for these wallpapers was designed to both showcase the AMOLED displays of the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL and supplement the already predetermined palette of all Google app icons. As for the sound design, Walsh and O'Sullivan revealed that they'd put a lot of thought into creating ringtones, alarms, and notification sounds that are not only attention-drawing but also not overly complicated. They've revealed that designing a clean soundscape for the Google Pixel phones was important because a smartphone can hardly provide the rich listening experience of a home stereo system. Due to that limitation, the Google Pixel Audio Design team opted for sounds that both resonate well and "respect the relationship" users have with their devices. All of the said solutions were developed in close collaboration with the Material Design team and the company's Creative Lab.