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Google just announced five big updates for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro

A render of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in a Mint color.
Google

While the Android world is currently buzzing around the Samsung Galaxy S24 and OnePlus 12, Google has just announced a few big updates to the Pixel 8 series.

The first update is a new Mint color. It’s available for the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and if you ask me, it looks fantastic. It’s a calming mint shade that’s not too intense but also not so muted that it’s boring to look at. I think it’s a strong contender for one of the best Pixel colors we’ve seen in a while.

Mint is available for both Pixel 8 models as of January 25, though there are a couple of restrictions on the color. For starters, you can only get it from the Google Store and Google Fi. Additionally, if you buy a Mint Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, you can only get it with 128GB of storage.

A render of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in a Mint color.
Google

But a new color isn’t the only thing Pixel 8 users have to look forward to. Google has also begun rolling out its January 2024 Feature Drop, which includes four main updates.

The first of those is Circle to Search. After debuting on the Galaxy S24 series earlier this month, Circle to Search is now coming to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Just like on the S24, this enables you to circle anything on your phone’s screen and do a Google Search for it. Just press and hold the home button/navigation bar, circle what you want to learn more about, and that’s all there is to it.

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users are also getting Magic Compose in Messages. Powered by Google’s gen AI tech, Magic Compose will allow you to “rewrite a drafted message in different styles. Make sound more professional, concise, or even Shakespearean.”

Also new in this Feature Drop is Photomoji — which is exactly what it sounds like. This enables you to select a photo of yourself, a pet, or any other picture on your phone and transform it into a sticker or emoji reaction to use in Google Messages. In addition to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Photomoji is also available for any Pixel phone from the Google Pixel 3a and newer.

Screenshots of Magic Compose, Quick Share, and Body Temperature features on a Pixel 8 Pro as part of the January 2024 Feature Drop.
Google

Lastly, the January 2024 Feature Drop allows the Pixel 8 Pro’s temperature sensor to be used to take your own (or someone else’s) body temperature. You’ll use the existing Thermometer app to do a body temperature scan, and once it’s done, you can save the results to the Fitbit app.

Beyond the Pixel-specific updates, this Feature Drop also includes a couple of other items. Quick Share, which Google announced at the beginning of the month, is now available for all Android devices with Android 6.0 or newer, Chromebooks with Chrome OS version 91 and newer, and Windows PCs running a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or newer. Seamless Audio Switching is also now expanding to the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2, allowing you to move your Pixel Buds Pro across your Pixel phone, smartwatch, and tablet easily.

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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