Here's what Pixel users received today with the quarterly feature drop!
One of the most exciting things that Pixel owners can look forward to is the quarterly Pixel Feature Drop. Every three months, Google disseminates an update to compatible Pixel devices containing new features. Currently, that group includes the Pixel 3 and newer models. And as luck would have it, today, the first day of the new month, Google has pushed out the latest Pixel Feature Drop.
Google pushes out the Pixel's monthly security update and the quarterly features drop!
One of the new features deals with the Recorder app. The latter allows users to record, transcribe (in English only) and search for certain audio on their Pixel. With the Feature Drop, Pixel users will be able to share links to their Recorder audio files so that even those without a Pixel can listen to some of the audio that has been recorded. By going to recorder.google.com, users will be able to hear their recordings, read transcripts, and search through audio files. The whole Recorder playback experience is available in one link that can be easily shared. Pixel users will also be able to back up recordings to their Google Account and retrieve them from any device.
Some Pixel models allow you to take photos of the night sky, a feature called Astrophotography. With the new Feature Drop, the Pixel camera can integrate with the Kraken Sports' Universal Smart Phone Housing to take images of marine life and more using Pixel camera features such as Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Motion Photos; underwater video can be shot directly through Pixel’s Camera app. The reason why this is exciting for divers that own a Pixel is that many dive cases won't support some of the Pixel's better camera features.
Pixel has also added some colorful and new wallpapers with this drop. Created by artists around the world, some of these celebrate the diversity of cultures around the world. And a week from today, March 8th, for International Woman's Day, "Pixel will add new wallpapers illustrated by Spanish duo Cachetejack, which focus on the strength and transformation of women."
Lastly, the Pixel Feature Drop adds Smart Compose to certain messaging apps on the Pixel. Smart Compose uses AI to help you complete a sentence while you are in the midst of typing it. It uses common phrases to quickly complete what you are writing to help you reduce the number of times that you have to type the same thing over and over again, and it also cuts back on typos. The feature is available only in the U.S. and in English only.
Besides the Pixel Feature Drop, Google released the latest Android security update along with nine functional updates to exterminate bugs. All of the Pixels eligible to be updated, the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, have received an update that kills a bug causing Android Auto to disconnect in some scenarios. The same phones received an update that eliminates an issue preventing the release of heads-up notifications for starred contacts in Do Not Disturb mode. An update for the most recent Pixel models (Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5) corrects a problem that causes a full-screen display to appear chopped up in certain situations. There are several updates for the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 including one fix for an issue that freezes the battery indicator percentage. Another update for the pair exterminates a bug that misses call notifications in certain scenarios, and yet another update takes care of a problem that prevents the two Pixels from automatically rotating the screen
This month's functional updates for compatible Pixel models
If you own a Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G or a Pixel 5, here is how you can download the feature drop and the monthly update which includes the March 5th security patch. Go to Settings > System > Advanced > System update.