One of the best parts of owning a Pixel phone is the regular onslaught of updates. Along with major OS upgrades each year, Google also releases Pixel Feature Drops every few months to keep things exciting in between. Google just announced its latest Feature Drop for June 2022, and in typical Pixel fashion, there’s a lot to unpack.
Before diving into all the new features, a quick word on availability. This Pixel Feature Drop is rolling out to all Pixel 4 and later devices starting today, June 6. That notably includes the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which received the March 2022 Feature Drop a few weeks late. Furthermore, this is the first Feature Drop not coming to the Pixel 3a.
The first thing to check out is the new functionality for Google’s At a Glance widget. Starting today, At a Glance will now integrate with Nest doorbells. If someone rings your Nest doorbell, you’ll be able to see them right on your Pixel’s home and lock screens — all without ever needing to open the Nest or Google Home app. Google will also remind you to turn off your flashlight if you accidentally turned it on or forgot to turn it off. And coming later this year, At a Glance will show users in the U.S., Australia, and India air quality alerts.
Speaking of your Pixel home screen, the June Feature Drop also adds a new way to find any vaccination cards you need to have handy. Just pull up your vaccine on a health provider’s website or app, take a screenshot of the card, and you can save it to your home screen as a small shortcut you can access at any time.
Something else to keep an eye on is the new Pocket Operator application. Created in partnership with Swedish electronics company Teenage Engineering, Pocket Operator takes videos you’ve recorded and turns them into “fun music and video cut-ups.” You can then let your creativity run wild with options for adding fun visuals, multiple sound layers, etc. It’s weird, unnecessary, and very Google in all the best ways.
One of the most fascinating updates for the June Feature Drop is something called Conversation Mode. It’s part of Google’s Sound Amplifier accessibility app and was added as a beta feature last December. The big news now is that it’s widely available for anyone to use.
As the name suggests, Conversation Mode is designed to help people more easily hear conversations that would otherwise be challenging for them. Open the Sound Amplifier App, select Conversation Mode, and use your Pixel’s camera to find the person’s face you’re talking with. Once the person is identified, your Pixel uses a “deep learning model” to amplify their speech and minimize distracting background noises.
And, last but not least, the June Feature Drop comes with a new set of Pride wallpapers! Google worked with illustrator Yann Bastard to create the wallpapers, and they stick out with bold shapes and vibrant colors. To find the new wallpapers, press and hold anywhere on your Pixel’s home screen, tap Wallpaper & style, tap the Change wallpaper text in the middle of the screen, and tap Curated Culture.
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