Essential Phone getting Treble, double tap to wake, EIS
There can be no doubting that Andy Rubin’s Essential and its flagship product, the Essential Phone PH-1 has gotten off to a rocky start. It launched late, after repeated delays, and arrived with software that was not quite ready for the bigtime. Then, faced with stagnant sales, it got a price cut bringing it down from US$700 to as low as US$450. Even then it may have only shifted 50,000 units. Then founder Andy Rubin took a period of personal leave to deal with the reports of an affair that culminated in his departure from Google.
Good news it is then to learn that Essential is still appears to be working hard on bringing new features to the Essential Phone that will hopefully broaden its appeal and give it some sales momentum. In the company’s latest Reddit AMA, it revealed that it is bringing Google’s Project Treble to the handset when it releases Android 8.0 Oreo for the device. Treble, if you aren’t familiar with it, is designed to allow more regular software updates without the need for OEM and carrier testing by segmenting the core OS from OEM skins and the like. It will make the Essential Phone one of a select few current handsets to get Treble support.
Another key feature that users have been requesting is tap to wake. In this implementation, it will apparently require a double-tap to wake, but it is a welcome addition nonetheless. The Essential Camera app was in line for special criticism at launch, but the company has released a number of updates since then including a decent Portrait mode. The Reddit AMA also revealed that Essential will be bringing Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) to video shooting along with a range of other bug fixes and stability improvements.