Latest Pixel leak reveals new tools to give your phone a fun makeover

Android 14 logo pasted onto a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra screen
(Image credit: Future / Google / Shutterstock / Framesira)

Newly discovered leaks reveal Google is working on several ways for Pixel owners to customize their device’s look as well as the opportunity to create their own cinematic photos.

This information comes from the Google News Telegram channel, which is not officially affiliated with Google itself but is run by industry insider Nail Sadykov. There, it is revealed the tech giant has recently rolled out the Emoji Workshop Wallpaper app to Pixel phones running the third Android 14 beta

The software allows users to select up to 14 individual emojis, choose from five different patterns (Mosaic, Lotus, Stacks, Placer, and Prism), and pick a color for their wallpaper. The Pixel device will then generate the wallpaper, which can be set as either your lock or home screen, based on the selection. This customized wallpaper is also interactive as touching the screen causes the emojis to dance a little. 

If you’re too lazy to make one up yourself, the app can also randomly generate wallpapers for you.

Emoji Wallpaper on Android 14

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman/Twitter)

Installing Emoji Workshop can take a bit of work, however, as you’ll need to install Android 14 Beta 3 on your compatible Pixel device. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s guide for detailed instructions on how to download the beta. Once installed, you also need to download the app from the Emoji Workshop’s Google Play Store page

Bear in mind that it only works on Pixel phones. Also, opening the Play Store link with anything else causes an error message to appear.

A different way to read the news

The Google News app has also received new Material You widgets. The smaller Quick View widget focuses on just one story so people can still use their phone as normal. You also have List View to show you multiple headlines about a particular topic. 

The post in the Telegram channel states this update will appear with the launch of version 5.82 of the Google News app. As a word of warning, there are third-party sites out there offering the opportunity to install version 5.82. We strongly advise against downloading these for safety reasons. You’re better off waiting for the official release.

Google News Material You widgets

(Image credit: Nail Sadykov/Twitter)

Finally, Google will allow users a way to create their own cinematic photos. This AI feature originally came out back in December 2020, adding a slow camera pan animation to photographs. Up to this point, Google chose the images to edit, but moving forward, there will be new controls in the Library/Utilities section of the Google Photos app. 

According to the leak, the update is apparently already rolling out to a select few. Be aware it will remain exclusive to those who own a Pixel device and a subscription to Google One.

No word on the launch date of either the emoji wallpaper or Google News widget, although we expect both to come out alongside Android 14 later this summer.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.