Google’s latest Feature Drop, a monthly update with new user-facing features for Pixel phones, has arrived. Along with the March security patch, it brings a handful of overdue additions Google Pixel owners have been requesting for a while.
The biggest of them all is the revamped power button menu. In addition to the existing set of shortcuts, users can now quickly access their Google Pay cards, boarding passes, and other payment methods by long-pressing the power key — similar to what iOS has been offering for years. On the Google Pixel 4, you will also be able to view your emergency health data and contacts.
On top of that, Google Pay is gaining support for boarding passes. Starting with this update, you can simply take a screenshot of your ticket’s bar code and Google Pay will automatically fetch its details as well as send you real-time flight updates. This is, however, limited to the Google Pixel 3, 3a, and 4 phones and will be available in most regions such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, where Google Pay is available.
What’s more, the March Feature Drop comes with a new automation tool called Rules. It allows you to essentially automate a bunch of basic settings based on network and location triggers. For instance, you can set a rule for putting your phone on silent as soon as you are connected to your office’s Wi-Fi.
Automatic Brightness has gotten an upgrade as well. It can now boost your phone’s brightness when it detects it is under direct sunlight. Google is oddly also bringing an Android 11 feature to Android 10 phones: An option to switch between dark and light themes depending on the sunrise and sunset times.
Furthermore, the update houses a couple of fresh Pixel 4-exclusive features. Just as on iPhones, Google is adding the ability to create 3D photos for Facebook and apply the Color Pop filter right from the Pixel 4’s camera app. Plus, there’s a new Motion Sense gesture that lets you play or pause by “tapping the air above the phone.”
The update is rolling out to Google Pixel 3, 3a, and 4 phones in phases. There’s no word at the moment on whether it will be extended to the Pixel 1 and 2 series.
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