Google announced their 10th Pixel Feature Drop yesterday which has begun rolling out to Pixel devices from the 3a through the Pixel 5a 5G. Unfortunately – yet again – the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices won’t be getting their updates until later this month. However, the update does bring many new features to the table while also expanding on existing features to older Pixel phones, such as:
- Night Sight in Snapchat: If you use Snapchat, you’ll be glad to know that you can now use the popular Night Sight feature right within the app to illuminate low-light photos and videos. You can active this by clicking on the moon icon that appears in the Snapchat camera.
- Live Caption in phone calls: You will now be able to see captions within phone calls of what the other party is saying, as well as type back a response that will be read out loud to them.
- Emoji and Gboard stickers suggestions in messaging apps: You will be able to use a combination of emoji, emoji kitchen, and custom sticker suggestions while you type in messaging apps. This will only be available for now when typing in U.S. English.
- Live sharing in Duo: You will be able to host your own YouTube watch party or screen share an app in Duo. I can see this being extremely helpful in tech support situations.
- Live Translate Interpreter Mode: The already familiar Live Translate feature is now coming to face-to-face conversations in Spanish, Italian and French. On the Pixel 6/6 Pro it will also be able to identify Spanish in videos and translate it automatically into English, French, Italian, German, and Japanese (in beta). In order to use this feature, you will just need to say “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter“.
- Better “At a Glance”: The At a Glance widget will now appear more often for helpful things such as letting you know battery levels, a safety check countdown, reminders to turn off your alarm if the next day is a holiday, and earthquake alerts.
- New battery widget: A new widget will now be available which will include the battery levels of your Pixel phone, Pixel Buds and other Bluetooth-connected devices. This widget can be added from the new “Settings Services” category.
- Expansion of existing Pixel 6/6 Pro features: Google is bringing existing Pixel 6 and 6 Pro exclusive features such as Direct My Call, Wait Times, Recorder and Assistant Quick phrases to more languages and Pixel devices.
My hope is that the Pixel 6/6 Pro update isn’t far behind and that when Google says “later this month,” they don’t actually mean the end of the month: or worse — pushed into next month. As a Pixel 6 user, I knew that there would be bugs and kinks to work through as one of the first adopters of the Tensor chip, but at this point, I’m starting to wonder if I would have been better off sticking to an older Pixel phone model to avoid having to deal with these delays. Let’s hope the situation improves and Pixel 6 users can begin getting their updates on a timely basis.