One of the major advantages of Google making phones like the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL is that it can deliver new features to those phones. The company has proven that by releasing a slew of those features to Pixel devices, most of which are now available to owners of any Pixel 2 or later.
First, Google is improving the Adaptive Battery feature on the Pixel 2 and later. Adaptive Battery already learns the user’s favorite apps, and can prioritize how much battery it gives certain apps depending on that information. Now, however, Google is able to better predict how long a battery will last depending on that information — and as a result, can reduce the power to certain apps for longer.
Google also wants to help users get to bed on time. Now, the Clock app will help users maintain a sleep schedule with a new bedtime tab. Through this tab, you’ll be able to play calming sounds to get to sleep quicker, limit interruptions during the night, and more. You’ll also be able to see things like how long you’re spending awake past your bedtime and which apps you’re using when you do.
Even Google Assistant is getting updates. Notably, Google Assistant will now work better with the Recorder app and Google Docs. For example, you can now tell Google Assistant to start a recording, and it will use the Recorder app to do so. Plus, transcripts of those recordings can now be saved to a Google Doc, which makes it easier to share. This feature is only available on the Google Pixel 4, however.
Google is adding some safety features to Pixel phones, too.
For starters, the Personal Safety app that was on the Pixel 4 is now expanding to the Pixel 3 (but not the Pixel 3a). Pixel phones will also offer a safety check. If you go for a hike, Google explained, the safety check feature will make sure you made it back from your hike safely. If you don’t respond to the check, your emergency contacts will be alerted. You can also trigger an emergency sharing feature, which will notify your emergency contacts that you need help, and share your location in real time through Google Maps.
You can see the new features for yourself by heading to the Settings menu, checking for a software update, and updating your phone. The rest will be handled automatically, as is the case with any major Android software update. As noted, some features will work on all phones, but features like the safety check, and Recorder transcription to Google Docs, are only available on newer Pixel devices.
Updates like these often roll out in waves, so if you don’t see the option to update yet, give it some time; it will appear later.
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