Google appears to be leaving the Active Edge feature behind on the Pixel 4a.
This is according to 9To5Google's Stephen Hall, who mentioned earlier this morning that he's "certain" Google chose not to include it on the upcoming phone. If true, it would be the first Pixel phone since Google chose to implement it that didn't have it on board.
If you remember correctly, Active Edge was introduced with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It's returned with every Pixel phone since then. Including the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, and the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.
Would no Active Edge on the Pixel 4a be such a bad thing?
Losing a feature could be viewed as either a good or bad thing. Perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder.
But would not having Active Edge on the Pixel 4a be such a bad thing? For Google Active Edge was a way to add an easy, physical method of initiating the interaction with Google Assistant.
A way that wouldn't really require you to touch the display. It almost always seems easier to either tap the Google Search bar or just say the hotword though. Then there's the scenario where you accidentally activate Google Assistant with Active Edge because you squeezed the phone too hard.
Sure that seems minor but it's likely that it happens to more users than you'd think. If Google is choosing not to add it to the Pixel 4a, there's probably a reason.
It could be a cost-saving measure, or maybe it just wasn't used enough
If Google is indeed cutting the Active Edge feature on this upcoming device there are more than a couple reasons why it could be doing so.
One could be a cost-saving measure. Rumors have suggested that the Pixel 4a could be available at $349 for the 128GB model. That's a lot of storage for that cost. Especially when you consider the other features on the phone and how high-quality the phone is likely to be.
One way to bring the price down to that point would be to remove features. It's also possible that Google looked at whether people were using it very often or not.
If Active Edge wasn't getting much use, then it would just be an additional function that would push the price up unnecessarily. In either case, it looks like users will be interacting with Google Assistant through voice or touch interaction.