Google Delivers the March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop

Posted on March 7, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 5 Comments

Users with supported Pixel handsets will want to check for an update this week: Google has issued a new Pixel Feature Drop, adding several new features.

Oh, unless you have a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, of course. You folks continue to be treated like second-class citizens.

“Today’s update marks our tenth Pixel Feature Drop,” the announcement post explains. “The latest updates begin rolling out to Pixel 3a through Pixel 5a (5G) devices today, while Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices will begin receiving their updates later this month.”

Those updates are:

Night Sight in Snapchat. Google is integrating Night Sight capabilities into Snapchat so you can take good night and low light photos directly from the app.

Live Captions improvements. Now, when you’re using Live Captions to communicate with someone over the phone, you can switch to a keyboard mode and type responses directly (instead of just talking), and it will be read out loud to the other party.

Gboard improvements. When using Gboard with a messaging app, it will now suggest emojis, emoji kitchens, and custom stickers as you type. It’s available in U.S. English, but globally.

Duo improvements. You can now host YouTube watch parties or share your favorite app with live sharing for Duo.

Live Translate improvements. The excellent Live Translate feature for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is getting an Interpreter mode that will support live translations of face-to-face conversations in Spanish, Italian, and French. To get started, wait whatever number of weeks and then say, “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter.”

Pixel Battery widget. A new Pixel battery widget for the home screen and lock screen always-on display will show -to-date battery information for your Pixel and connected devices like Pixel Buds.

Improved device and language support for existing Pixel features. Direct My Call and Wait Times will now be available for Pixel 3a and newer phones. Recorder can now transcribe in Italian and Spanish on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. And Assistant Quick phrases will be available in Spanish, Italian, and French on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Google Delivers the March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop”

  1. dftf

    Just getting it here in the UK now on my Pixel 3a... comes-in at 355MB!

    Puzzled though why some of these updates need to come via a monthly-update... GBoard is updated from the Google Play Store, as are apps like Recorder and Phone. They could also update the Pixel Launcher from the store too, to push-out the new battery widget.

    Seems odd to tie delivery of these features to an Android update when the whole point of "Project Mainline" (and "Treble" before that) was to decouple more-and-more things from Android itself and make them store-updatable!

    • IanYates82

      It's like Microsoft, Google, and Apple all want to emulate each other. So many things are arbitrarily pushed into full OS updates when they could be apps, and vice-versa.

      I suspect it's partly the result of interior org structure leaking in to their software dependencies

  2. Sykeward

    • Google announces update includes: Three new wallpapers for International Women's Day.
    • When Google delivers update for P6/Pro: After International Women’s Day.

    Pixel 6/6 Pro software support in a nutshell.

  3. Pgiftos

    One of the reasons I purchased my Pixel 6 Pro was to receive updates immediately. I'm not impressed with Google's inability to update 6 and 6 Pro timely.

    • webdev511

      It's still way better than everyone except the walled garden of iOS. Non-pixel Android devices won't be getting the March update until [looks at calendar] maybe June or July. Also a far cry from the days of Windows Phone when OS updates were fully baked but Verizon sat on them for just short of a year, because "radio testing". Even so many device manufacturers and carriers are still trying to maintain the iron grip on updates.

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