Update: Google has confirmed that the process for ordering a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL through the Google Store has not changed from last year as Google will still be emailing potential customers when stock becomes available. As a result there will be no option to reserve a unit as described below. End of update
Google has now redesigned its official store website with tweaks to the user interface in a bid to make ordering one of its new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL devices a much less daunting task. The changes are likely the result of last year's inventory debacle, which left many consumers uncertain about whether they'd be able to get a new smartphone from the company at all. While the changes aren't necessarily groundbreaking or implemented in a way that should take getting used to, the overall simplifications and clarity that have been added should accomplish that goal well enough.
For starters, the online store no longer has user's submitting their email address and then waiting for an email from Google once the new products run out of stock. Instead, users will be able to continue reserve a second-generation Pixel device, even after the initially manufactured devices are all gone. Effectively, they will be given a place in line based on a first-come, first-served basis. The changes don't necessarily mean that there have been any changes made to the production process itself and, as a result, there may still be plenty of shortages in terms of availability of the devices. That's especially true, given the vast number of improvements to the new versions of the Google-made devices and how popular they are likely to be – even more so when considering that Google is allowing customers to trade in their old phone to get a cheaper price.
Realistically, even with the new changes in place and even if Google has raised the rate of its manufacturing, prospective customers may not want to procrastinate for too long before heading over to the official Google Store to pre-order a second generation Pixel or Pixel XL, since they are all but guaranteed to sell out quickly – particularly for the larger 6-inch XL and for variants that come with higher storage capacities out the box. Thankfully, this approach may also help the company quantify which versions are selling at a higher rate and shift production appropriately since they will have already reserved the devices for sale to customers. There should also be a lot less confusion for customers themselves, thanks to the newly streamlined interface.