Google Delivers its Biggest-Ever Pixel Drop

Google today announced the latest Pixel drop, which brings new features to Pixel phones, Pixel Watch, and Pixel Buds.

“The latest Pixel Feature Drop is here,” Google’s Aisha Sharif and Caity Mold-Zern write in the announcement post. “It’s our biggest one to date—and a first for Google Pixel Watch—centered around making your life easier. Updates begin rolling out to Pixel 4a through the latest Pixel 7 and 7 Pro and Pixel Watch today.”

Here’s what’s new.

VPN by Google. Announced at the Pixel 7 series launch event, VPN by Google is now available for free on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. You can learn more here.

Security & privacy settings. Google has unified the previously separate security and privacy settings into a single experience, making it easier to protect your phone, accounts, and passwords.

Clear Calling. Thanks to their Tensor G2 chipsets, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will now automatically enhance the other caller’s voice and reduce their background noise when they’re calling you from a noisy place.

Speaker labels in Recorder. When you record and transcribe a conversation in English with a Pixel 6 or newer, Recorder now identifies and labels each speaker and inserts line breaks when the speaker changes. “You can record an interview, meeting, lecture, or conversation with each person labeled individually,” Google notes. “This feature uses machine learning to process speaker labeling live and on-device, so you can watch it work as you record. And once the recording is complete, you can easily re-label speakers with their names.”

Sleep Profile on Pixel Watch. This Fitbit Premium feature is now available for free to Pixel Watch owners.

Cough and snore detection on Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Not sure why this is limited to these two phone models, but Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro can now detect coughing and snoring and help you understand how they impact your sleep. You have to set up Bedtime mode in Clock and Digital Wellbeing to easily access this functionality, Google notes.

New wallpapers. Google has added three new Curated Culture wallpapers to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities made by artist, poet, podcaster, and author Morgan Harper Nichols. And there is a new Live Bloom collection with images that shift and animate as you move between home screens.

Spatial audio. Pixel is getting spatial audio with head tracking in January with Pixel Buds Pro or wired headphones.

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