Google is reportedly testing the screen mirroring feature for external displays on the Pixel 8 series

The Google Pixel 8 series has reportedly received a new feature that will finally allow users to mirror their smartphone screen to a larger external display. The feature was added to the series via the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update for Pixel devices. The update enables DisplayPort alternate mode in smartphones by default. The addition of the feature was not mentioned in the changelog, according to the report, leading to suspicions among users that it may have been added accidentally.

According to a report by Android Authority (through Mishaal Rahman), some users have started noticing that when they connect their Pixel 8 series phone consisting of the vanilla Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to an external display via a compatible USB Type-C cable, a pop-up appears asking about mirroring on the screen. This feature is currently only available on Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update phones.

The addition of this feature is interesting for several reasons. First, this is the first time Google has enabled screen mirroring on any Pixel phone. On the Pixel 7 series and older models, the DisplayPort alternate mode feature is disabled at the hardware level. While the feature was hardware-enabled in the current generation, there was no accompanying software to allow users to trigger screen mirroring.

Second, even when Google added the feature, it wasn’t mentioned in the changelog. This led several users to wonder if the activation was accidental. The report highlights that if this is the case, the feature could be brought back in the next update. However, it’s possible that the tech giant added screen mirroring proactively because Android 15, which is expected to be announced later this year, may introduce a new desktop mode that offers a more seamless interface with Pixel devices. For now, this is all speculative until an official announcement is made. Even if Google permanently enabled the DisplayPort alternate mode, older Pixel phones still wouldn’t be able to use it because the feature is disabled at the hardware level.

However, all is not lost for older Pixel devices. Google recently extended the Circle to Search feature for the Pixel 7 series through the latest Pixel Feature Drop, allowing users to perform a visual search just by drawing a circle on the screen.

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