Monday, May 20, 2024
AndroidSmart Phones

New Pixel Feature Drop Adds AI Charging, 3D Wallpaper, and More!


Every start of the quarter, Google releases a set of complete features and improvements to Pixel devices, including its smartphones, the Pixel Watch, and headphones, through Pixel Feature Drop. In time for that, Google has finally started rolling out the June update for eligible models, adding abilities like hands-free selfie and 3D wallpaper, among others.

The June Pixel Feature Drop update, which is shipped with the Android 13 QPR3 (Quarterly Platform Release), is compatible starting from the Google Pixel 4a up to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a. However, the availability of the features will vary depending on the model.

Camera: Hands-free selfie and macro video

Google is enabling hands-free gesture control when taking selfie photos. For instance, users can just raise their palm towards the camera to initiate the capture. There are two timer options you can pick: 3 and 10 seconds. The feature, which is already available from other manufacturers like the Samsung Galaxy phones for years, is compatible for Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 devices.

Another new camera function, but exclusive for the Pixel 7 Pro (review), is the macro video. The mode leverages the telephoto sensor of the camera phone to record close up videos, producing effects of enlarged subjects like butterflies fluttering.

Google's June Pixel Feature Drop
The June Pixel Feature Drop update adds hands-free selfie timer and macro video. / © Google, Edit by NextPit

Customization: Convert 2D images into 3D and create live emoji wallpapers

Google’s cinematic effects come to Pixel wallpapers. This turns regular 2D wallpapers or pictures from your gallery into 3D that gives a cinematic or moving effect when applied. The search giant said it uses machine learning or AI capabilities of the device when converting 2D images to 3D.

Announced back in 2023 I/O and was also available in the Android 14 OS beta build, Emoji Workshop lets users combine and customize different emojis to create live emoji wallpapers. The feature extends to the home screen where you can interact with the wallpaper and have the emojis move or project reactions. This and along with the 3D wallpaper are available for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 (review) series.

Google Pixel Feature Drop for June 2023
Google’s Pixel Feature Drops enable 3D and live emoji wallpaper creation. / © Google, Edit by NextPit

Safety: Emergency sharing and safety check

It is now possible to summon Google Assistant to start sharing emergency status to contacts. Additionally, timed or scheduled safety checks are also supported. For example, if you are out on a walk late at night, you can command Google Assistant with a phase of “run a safety check for an hour”.

Google is one of the pioneers of crash detection in smartphones. Before, the feature would establish communications with emergency responders and authorities, with the latest update, contacts can be notified too.

Adaptive charging, smart vibration, and more

After tweaking on how adaptive charging works when a user sets an alarm, Google is making it smarter through AI. As mentioned in the release notes, the adaptive charging on Pixel phones will be based on your 1-week charging habits. Furthermore, it will detect long charging periods and estimate when to fully charge your handset before you unplug it.

For Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a (review), the company is activating smart haptics. When your phone vibrates on a flat or hard surface, the vibration intensity is automatically lowered while it returns to normal or high level on a different surface.

At the same time, smart home controls and shortcuts of Google Home can now be added right on the lock screen. There is a newly redesigned dashboard for the app as well.

Lastly, the built-in recorder tool is getting optimized speaker labels. And for Pixel 6 and new Pixel models, users will be able to create speaker-labeled video clips and share the transcripts to Google docs.

Google Pixel Watch with abnormal heart rate and SpO2 tracking
Google activates abnormal heart rate and night SpO2 tracking on the Pixel Watch. / © Google, Edit by NextPit

Pixel Watch: Abnormal heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring in sleep

Along with the Pixel phones, the Pixel Watch (review) is receiving some notable features as well. For starters, the Pixel Watch will be able to notify its wearer of abnormal heart rate. In addition, it can now read the oxygen saturation or SpO2 level of a user while sleeping.

Regarding the fitness side, auto-pause is added which automatically pauses your exercise monitoring when you are taking a break, and it will resume when you start to move.

Which of the new features do you find useful? Share to us your thoughts in the comments.



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