Google is expected to unveil its Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 on October 4. The Mountain View company assigned HTC to design and produce the smaller Pixel 2 handset, while LG has been commissioned to build the Pixel XL 2. Fans have been speculating in terms of why Google wanted HTC to build the Pixel 2, especially considering HTC's recent financial problems regarding its smartphone business. A new rumor may explain one reason behind commissioning HTC to design and produce the Pixel 2.

One HTC feature may come to the Google smartphone

HTC's latest flagship, the HTC U11 featured a completely new and innovative feature, dubbed the Edge Sense.

With this, users can squeeze the sides of the handset to perform certain pre-defined functions. While most consumers view this feature as a gimmick, Google may have been quite impressed with the functionality and the ease with which it could be integrated to operate Google's apps.

An APK teardown of the latest version of the Google app reveals that the Google Pixel 2 may come with the same Edge Sense technology that the HTC U11 carries. However, in Pixel 2's case, the same feature may be dubbed the Active Edge. In fact, this may be the primary reason why Google wanted HTC to build the Pixel 2.

Previously, fans speculated that HTC was picked because of the close association it shares with Google.

Others have suggested that since Google would be acquiring HTC's mobile division, the Mountain View company may have allocated the production to HTC. However, it seems that Google was impressed with the squeezable sides feature that HTC designed and may have even paid the company to incorporate it in the Pixel 2.

The latest confirmation comes from 9to5 Google, where the version 7.12 of the Google app underwent an APK teardown.

During the teardown, many codes referred to the Active Edge and the settings that would be customized to enable the feature. One particular string of code revealed the phrase, "Squeeze for your Assistant," indicating that the functionality can be used to summon the Google Assistant on the impending Pixel 2.

What else did the teardown reveal?

Apart from the Active Edge feature, the Google app teardown also shed light on some possible features that may be coming to the Google Assistant. Firstly, the digital assistant may soon offer users the option of selecting its voice. Similar to the way the Siri assistant on iOS allows users to either pick a male or female voice for the program, the Google Assistant will also allow the same. The teardown also revealed that Google may allow new hotwords for the Google Assistant other than 'Ok Google.' These words will be used to activate the virtual assistant.