The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come packed with a number of features and in spite of the two devices having now been announced, new features are still coming to light. Such as the Pixel 2 and 2 XL’s ability to automatically enter a ‘Do not disturb’ mode while the owner is driving. Although not officially announced by Google yet, this feature is one that clearly will be on offer as on the same day as the Pixel announcements, Google also posted a new app to the Google Play Store, Pixel Ambient Services.
On the face of it, this app mainly seems to be the key to the Pixel 2 and 2 XL’s Always-On Music ID feature - which allows the two devices to identify a song playing in the background. However, the screenshots made available along with the Google Play Store listing do clearly highlight the ability to automatically activate the do not disturb feature and that this app is part of how the feature is offered. As this is a feature that can be turned on or offer through the Pixel Ambient Services app settings.
Due to the lack of a proper announcement on this, the finer details on how it all works is still up for discussion. However, the same screenshot does state that the phone and app will use various sensors in the device to recognize when the user (more specifically, when the phone) is in a moving car. The screenshot also suggests that Bluetooth connections will play a role here as well, although it is unclear if both are needed to be connected or whether either of the connection methods is enough. It could be the case that Pixel 2 owners will need to set up a car’s Bluetooth connection as a ‘paired device’ first, and then the motion sensors take over as the main means of establishing whether the user is in the car or not. This particular scenario would help to offset against various conditions where the phone might be in a car, but the do not disturb mode does not need to be activated. For example, next time the owner takes an Uber.