Your Pixel phone may automatically adapt its display for rain and other conditions soon

Struggle to use your phone with wet fingers? Google may have a solution that makes your phone display a lot smarter.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
The display on the Mint Pixel 8 on top of a green notebook.
Max Buondonno/ZDNET

If you've ever struggled to use your phone because you have wet fingers or you're wearing gloves, Google is introducing a new mode to make your life a little easier -- if you're a Pixel user. 

The folks over at Android Police did some digging into the latest Android beta, Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1, and uncovered an interesting string of code.

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Referencing something called "adaptive touch," the code mentions that "Touch sensitivity will automatically adjust to your environment, activities, and screen protector." 

At present, Pixel 8 series devices have a screen protector mode that ramps up the sensitivity if you have a screen protector installed (your phone will usually detect if you have a protector in place on its own, but you can access this by tapping on "Display" in the settings menu). But the new "adaptive touch" seems to include that mode and more, adapting to its conditions in other ways.

What kind of environments or activities the display would adapt to isn't clear, but considering what kind of activities usually interfere with touch screens, it's likely to include rain or wet fingers, gloves, and cold. Like the screen protector mode, this would likely function by monitoring the touch screen and adapting to any changes. 

Also: Use a screen protector on your Pixel phone? You should enable this feature

Google hasn't officially said anything about the new feature, so we don't know what devices are getting adaptive touch. But given that the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have the screen protector mode, it's almost certain the feature would start there. A rollout date hasn't been announced either, but once things start popping up in Android beta code, it's usually not too long before they're released to the public.

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