Some users were holding out hope that Google would let USB video output stand for the Pixel 4. The Nexus 5 was actually the last of the Made by Google phones to support the wired connection output. Since Android 10 has a basic form of a desktop UI, some thought the newest smartphone would carry video output but alas, this is not to be. A commit in the Android source code shows that there is a “Disable DP function” and that’s about it for that particular feature or non-feature.
According to a post on Android Police, they found the source code that disables the DisplayPort over the USB Type-C port. This basically means you won’t be able to bring videos from your phone to any type of external screen simply by using the USB-C type of connection. The only recourse would be to stream the video through any Chromecast-supported device instead of using any 3rd-party cable since Google doesn’t have an official one.
Back in 2015, Google improved microSD support for Android and so they thought that the next Nexus phone would have a microSD card slot but upon launch, it didn’t. So when Android 10 supported the aforementioned basic desktop UI, some users thought we would get the video output. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as well and there’s no evidence yet that we will be getting a DeX-style feature for Pixel like with the Samsung devices.
There’s also the possibility that when they were developing Pixel 4, they didn’t really plan on having a USB video output in the first place despite the source code disabling it. Or there’s also the fact that Qualcomm would have charged an additional licensing fee for that DisplayPort support and they didn’t want to pay that fee.
There’s no feedback from Google just yet on this issue. And while it’s not a life-changing feature to have, there are still those that would want that option rather than just rely on streaming through Chromecast for video output.