Google’s second Pixel feature drop brings 12 new software tweaks to the smartphone

    A part of Google’s efforts to improve the experience on the Pixels, the first Pixel feature drop enhanced Google’s Call Screener, its memory management and more.
    By: HT CORRESPONDENT
    | Updated on: Mar 04 2020, 07:04 AM IST
    In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo Rick Osterloh, SVP of Google Hardware holds a new Pixel 4 phone while interviewed in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
    In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo Rick Osterloh, SVP of Google Hardware holds a new Pixel 4 phone while interviewed in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)
    In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo Rick Osterloh, SVP of Google Hardware holds a new Pixel 4 phone while interviewed in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
    In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, photo Rick Osterloh, SVP of Google Hardware holds a new Pixel 4 phone while interviewed in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)

    Google adds new features to its homegrown phones with feature drops that bring in new upgrades and software. A part of Google's efforts to improve the experience on the Pixels, the first Pixel feature drop enhanced Google's Call Screener, its memory management and more. The second feature drop has come with 12 new tweaks to the Pixels. .

    Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

    For Pixel 4, the biggest update in the latest feature drop is the addition of the Motion Sense gesture that lets you pause or resume music playback with movements above the phone (you don't need to touch the screen).

    Earlier, the Motion Sense feature could only skip forwards and backwards between tracks by swiping your hands. The addition of a pause and resume is a welcome addition.

    A new feature has been added on the Google Duo which gives Pixel users access to augmented reality (AR) during video calls. So now, for example, you can replace your face with a sunflowers or something else and it will respond to your movements and reactions.  

    After adding the ability to add depth effects to pictures in Google Photos long after they have been taken with the first feature drop, the second will now let you capture selfies with improved portrait-style depth effects and 3D photos that you can use on Facebook.

    Another new addition is a new functionality of the Power button the Pixels. By pressing and holding the power button you can now swipe through credit cards, boarding passes, event tickets etc in Google Pay. For Pixel 4 users, these new swipeable cards will also have helpful information like emergency contacts and medical info.

    Also Read: Google Pixel 5 spotted in AOSP, could be the rumoured 'Bramble' mid-range phone

    For this feature, all you have to do is to take a screenshot before tapping on the follow-up notification. This will also prompt Google to send you alerts.

    This feature and the power button improvements are also going to drop in on the Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and the Pixel 4 in March.

    Also Read: Amazon India is selling Google Pixel 4, 4XL: Here's how much you have to pay

    In addition to this, Google is adding the ability to switch between light and dark themes depending on the time of day. You will also be able to customise how your Pixel behaves based on your location - like automatically put your phone on silent when you connect to your office WiFi network or switch to 'Do Not Disturb' when you get home.

    For safety, Google is not enabling the Personal Safety app in UK and Australia. It was launched in the US last year. Thanks to this feature, of you are ever involved in a car crash, the phone will detect it and call emergency services with a single tap or voice command.

    The second feature drop brings in some other changes like a temporary brightness boost, improved long press options in the Pixel launcher etc. You can check out the full list of feature additions here.

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    First Published Date: 03 Mar, 07:53 PM IST
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