Pixel phones could get these new features with the March feature drop

Pixel phones could get these new features with the March feature drop
Pixel phones aren’t the best value when it comes to hardware, but Google is making sure to offer its users some unique software features to sweeten the deal. A lot of these features are coming months, if not years after the phone has been released. Recently, Google started bundling them into “feature drops” that get released once every few months.

Well, 9to5Google was rummaging through some Android files as usual and stumbled upon lines of code that seemingly reveal what features will be included in this March’s feature drop for Pixel phones. Some of these features were poised to appear with Android 11 but it seems Pixel users will get a head start. Here’s what they found:

Upcoming Google Pixel software features

Dark Mode scheduling

Dark Mode is a cool feature but it’s not the end all be all that some people make it out to be. As our colleague explained, Dark Mode has its downsides as well and using it for everything is not the best way to go about it.

With Dark Mode scheduling, you can have the best of both worlds without having to constantly switch modes manually. Pick an hour to activate it and another one to disable it and you’re all set!

Cards & Passes power key feature

Another feature to make your life easier (as they all should be) was spotted in the files and it concerns the Google Pay wallet app. The new addition would allow users to hold down the power key of their smartphone and get a list of all the cards, whether that’s credit cards or membership cards, and quickly select one to use for the next transaction.

This should remove a lot of hassle in the morning when you have to quickly grab a cup of coffee before jumping on the subway.

A new Motion Sense gesture

This one is tied to a hardware feature so unless you have a Pixel 4 or 4 XL, you won’t be making use of it. Motion Sense uses the Pixel 4’s radar technology for air gestures like swiping to switch songs and others. It’s not the most useful feature but it seems Google hasn’t given up on it yet.

The new line of code says: “Pause or resume music by tapping the air above the phone.” Honestly, it sounds kind of cool so hopefully, it would work as described. That would make Motion Sense look closer to what people expected in the first place.

Personal Safety app coming to older Pixels

Another string of code points to Google’s Personal Safety app coming to the rest of the Pixel family. The app offers quick and easy ways to connect with emergency services or any emergency contacts you’ve selected. Most importantly, it also features crash detection, so you can easily call 911 if you’ve been in a car crash (works only in the US).

That is all that was dug up from the depths of the APK for now. Overall, a nice set of features that will quickly make their way into the daily lives of Pixel users (hopefully not the last one).

Some of them will surely reach all Android devices in due time but by then Pixel users will be getting something else and exclusive. That’s the advantage you get by choosing a Pixel phone and we can’t blame Google for leveraging its position as the Android developer.

We’ll learn almost everything there is to know about Android 11 in May during Google’s I/O developer conference. After the event, the beta for Android 11 should be available for more devices, giving people a taste of Android’s future.


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