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Check your Google Pixel Watch now for a big software update

Someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2 with a yellow/green fabric band.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2 (and its less successful predecessor) are both getting a significant software update, which has begun rolling out today. It doesn’t overhaul the Pixel Watch experience, but it adds some very welcome new features.

One of the most interesting features included in this update is Call Screen. If you’re using your Pixel Watch with a Pixel smartphone that has a Tensor processor — like the Google Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro — you’ll now see a transcript of the person who’s calling you so you can decide if you want to pick up the call or ignore it. Pixel phones have had Call Screen for years now, but with this update, it’s finally coming to your wrist. It works for both the first Pixel Watch and the Pixel Watch 2.

The other big feature is Watch Unlock. Similar to how the Apple Watch can unlock your iPhone, you can have your Pixel Watch unlock your phone (so long as that phone is a Pixel). You’ll need to enable Watch Unlock for it to work, but the process is simple: open the Watch app on your phone, tap Watch preferences, tap Security, and you should find the setting there. You’ll get a warning that Watch Unlock can reduce your Pixel Watch’s battery, so keep that in mind before you enable it.

The crown on the Google Pixel Watch.
Google Pixel Watch Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you’re still rocking a first-gen Pixel Watch, this update now syncs your Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Modes across your smartwatch and Pixel phone. If you enable Bedtime Mode on your Pixel Watch, for example, it also gets toggled on your phone. This has been available on the Pixel Watch 2 since its release, and I can personally vouch for how incredibly useful it is.

This update also includes a fix for an “image retention” issue that some Pixel Watch 2 owners have previously complained about. Finally, your Pixel Watch’s security patch will be increased to December 5, 2023.

You should receive the update automatically, but if you want to check for yourself, open the Settings app on your Pixel Watch, tap System, and then tap System updates. 9to5Google notes that tapping the button multiple times should eventually trigger the update to become available, but your mileage may vary. This update also comes just days after Google started rolling out charged battery notifications for the Pixel Watch. Safe to say, Pixel Watch users are eating good this month.

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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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