Check your Pixel phone right now, as Google is sending out its regular new feature update starting today. It will arrive on all Pixel phones from the Pixel 3a to the Pixel 5a first, and then come to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this month. Here’s what to expect.
Your phone will now show more information, with battery-level data for Bluetooth-connected devices including the Pixel Buds, plus contextual reminders about features like alarms, where it will recommend you turn it off if it’s a national holiday the next day. It’ll also send important notifications like earthquake warnings specific for your own area. These are all available as widgets. Included in the update are three wallpapers for International Women’s Day that have been created by U.K. artist Manjit Thapp.
When you type messages using Gboard in U.S. English, you’ll see suggestions for stickers related to your text to help make your conversations more visually interesting. It doesn’t state whether this is available in just one app, so we assume it’ll be available across the board.
For those who don’t want to — or are in a situation where they cannot — speak when on a call, the Live Caption feature will help. During a call, captions of what’s being said by the other party will appear on the screen, and your typed responses will be read out loud. Again, Google doesn’t state whether this needs to be supported by your carrier, so we’ll assume it’ll be available for all.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners who use Snapchat will get to use the camera’s Night Sight mode in the app itself. Google’s Night Sight camera is excellent and its lowlight photos are stunning. Not having to import them to Snapchat will increase usefulness and avoid any quality downgrades.
Interpreter Mode is part of Live Translate, and works on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The latest feature to arrive adds Spanish, Italian, and French translations on to your device, so you can carry out live conversations with translation in real time. All you need to do is say, “Hey Google, be my French interpreter,” and the feature will activate. Also on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Spanish is now one of the live translations available for video and other media.
Finally, a few existing features have been enhanced on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Recorder now transcribes in Italian and Spanish, while Assistant Quick Phrases is now in Spanish, Italian, and French languages. Finally, the Direct My Call and Wait Times features are now available on all Pixel phones after the Pixel 3a.
You can check the Software Updates page on your Pixel phone to see if the update is available, as it should be out starting today, March 7. However, Google may be sending these out in a staggered fashion, so be patient if it’s not there immediately.
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