Google Releases New Feature Drop for Supported Pixels

Posted on June 7, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Google, Mobile with 3 Comments

If you have a recent Pixel, you may want to check for updates, as Google has just issued one its biggest-ever Feature Drops. As always, the availability of new features varies by device.

“Our latest Feature Drop is making your Pixel smarter and more fun, while also helping you feel safer, too,” Google’s Daniel Gundrum writes in the announcement post. “From Locked Folders to expanding some features to more countries to short videos in astrophotography, there’s a lot to unpack.”

Here’s what’s new.

Astrophotography videos. Those with Pixel 4 and newer can now create videos of the stars moving across the sky during the same exposure: All you have to do is take a photo using Night Sight, and it will now save a photo and a video. You can learn more about this feature from Google Support website.

Pride month assets. June is Pride Month, so Google is providing new Pride-themed wallpapers, ringtones, and notifications for Pixel owners to celebrate.

Locked Folders. Google previewed Locked Folder in Google Photos at Google I/O last month, and it’s now rolling out to Pixel users. Now, when you take a photo or video that you wish to keep private, you can save them to the Locked Folder. These items won’t show up in shared albums, Memories, or any other apps on your device, and can only be accessed using your passcode or fingerprint.

Car crash detection comes to more markets. The car crash detection feature is expanding to Ireland, Singapore, and Spain. (This feature is already available in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. and requires network connectivity.)

Google Assistant improvements. Now, you can answer or reject a phone call using Google Assistant: Just say “Hey Google, answer call” or “Hey Google, reject call.”

Gboard improvements. Google’s mobile keyboard is now smarter about cut and paste. So when you copy text that includes a phone number, email address, or URL, you will see those key snippets of text suggested in the clipboard, Google says. Then, you can paste them into Messages to share contact information quickly, or Maps to get started on a trip faster.

Call Screen comes to Japan. Call Screen, which helps you avoid spam calls by answering unknown numbers to find out who’s calling and why, is now available in Japan.

Recorder comes to more markets. Recorder is an app that transcribes audio into text so you can search, edit, and share your recordings. It will be available in more English dialects including Australian, British English, Irish, and Singaporean on Pixel 3 and newer phones by the end of July.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Google Releases New Feature Drop for Supported Pixels”

  1. crunchyfrog

    I don't understand why Pride Month would be part of a feature update. Wouldn't that just be part of a separate offering as an optional download?

    • cmdrkeene

      They probably just wanted to call attention to it while they had an audience. I don't think these wallpapers actually download to your device unless you pick them in the wallpaper chooser

  2. markbyrn

    So with the Locked Folders option, Google has finally made a stripped-down version of Samsung's One UI Secure Folders.