Feature drops are Google’s way of adding more features to Pixel devices to make them more fun to use. Google releases Feature Drops around the year but the ones that drop in December, at the end of the year, bring most features. This year’s December feature drop is out, and here’s everything that’s new in Pixels and Pixel Watch.
The update brings new features and improvements to the Pixel camera. For the Pixel 8 Pro, the promised Video Boost, Night Sight Video, and Night Sight Timelapse features are finally here. While other mentioned features are available today, Video Boost will drop tomorrow as per Google’s official blog. Besides, the Pixel Fold gets a new Dual Screen Preview feature which does exactly what its name suggests.
The new camera update also brings a “Clean” feature which, when scanning documents, helps clear any kinds of stains or marks on it using AI. The feature is not Pixel 8 series exclusive but is also available on older Pixel devices.
Gemini Nano Powered AI Features
One of the biggest updates in the Pixel Feature drop is the new Gemini AI Model by Google. The company claims it to be the most powerful AI it has rolled out to date. Google has sneaked in a bunch of helpful AI features like AI Summarize and Smart replies. You may know that Google Recorder records transcripts but reading text could be a pain. Summarize, well, summarizes your recordings using the new Gemini Nano on the Pixel 8 Pro.
Similarly, Smart Replies also uses Gemini Nano to suggest responses based on the text messages you receive. It currently only works on WhatsApp but Google says support for more apps is coming soon next year.
Use Pixel Camera as Webcam
The webcam feature has been in Beta for a while now and is finally available in the December feature drop. As the name suggests, the feature allows you to use your Pixel as a webcam during meetings. All you need is a USB cable; swipe down and from USB options, tap the Webcam option.
Another feature in this drop that’s not Pixel 8 exclusive is Repair Mode. The feature creates a secure environment to keep your data protected when your device is undergoing repair.
Contextual Replies: Google Assistant
To our readers in the US, Canada, and Europe, Google Assistant is getting smarter with the addition of Contextual Replies for Pixel 6 and above. Google claims Assistant’s accuracy in detecting spam was increased by 50%.
Contextual Replies help users by letting the Assistant take the call and asking the party on the other side what they are calling for. The Assistant will then display the reason and you can choose if you want to take or cancel the call. This should give users more power, besides Call Screening.
Speaking of Call Screening, the same is now available on Pixel Watch with a Google Dialer update.
Google Pixel 8a: Release Date, Rumored Specifications & Price
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Pixel Watch: Watch Unlock is Here
If you own a Pixel Watch, it can now unlock your Pixel phone without you having to tap the fingerprint or enter the pin. This feature is available on both Pixel Watch and Watch 2.
Among new features, there are lots of bug fixes and improvements. Google has finally merged a new Mali GPU driver which brings performance improvements in graphic-intensive games like Genshin Impact. It claims the performance gains should be noticeable on all Pixels with Tensor SoC.
It’s hard to keep track of features given the exclusivity to certain devices; hence, here’s a chart posted by Google that tells us what features are coming to both new and old Pixels.
Did you get the December Pixel Feature Drop yet? Let us know in the comments section below.